Cloud software is creating a compelling business case for college campuses to replace their antiquated on-premise systems.

Utilizing cloud software, users can access their system from any internet-enabled device. This is leading to reduced infrastructure costs, faster implementations and immediate upgrade availability. Cloud software is driving the next generation of facilities management software.

Additionally, the total cost of owning and operating on-premise software typically exceeds the price of an annual license and ongoing support because the cost of maintaining and upgrading on-premise systems often comes directly from resource utilization. Accruent's cloud solutions offer an alternative that reduces or even eliminates many of these costs.

Let us consider the benefits of cloud solutions as they pertain to facilities services:

1. Eliminating upgrades.

The most compelling benefit of moving to the cloud is that your initial implementation is essentially the last upgrade you will ever have to complete. With cloud solutions, the vendor makes sure that your system is patched regularly, that you always have access to the latest functionality, and that you will never fall behind on product and security updates.

Removing upgrades from your system administrator’s responsibilities will free up resources to focus on more impactful and strategic elements of their role, such as system optimization, user training, strategic dashboard and report creation, and facilitating the annual plan and budgeting process.

2. Improving system accessibility.

In addition to saving time by eliminating upgrades and system maintenance, your system immediately becomes more accessible because—as a relatively new technology—cloud solutions offer native wireless support and accessibility from any web-enabled device. Rather than struggling to locate a kiosk or calling the help desk, users and customers are empowered to simply submit and monitor requests from their PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

3. Improving user adoption and customer satisfaction.

Because a cloud solution is built as a website, it eliminates any confusion around new navigational elements and instead is designed to match contemporary user experience expectations. Your users and customers will not need to fight with the system design. Their requests can be entered and executed more quickly and work crews are able to better meet departmental service level agreements. In turn, your Information Technology/Services team will benefit as well.

4. Creating a shared community experience.

An often-overlooked benefit for cloud product offerings—compared to on-premise or hosted products—is that there is a single code-base shared across customers. Every customer is on the same version and the software version that vendors test and code against is the exact version that is delivered to their clients.

This is valuable because with on-premise products, customers all have different configurations, patched versions and hardware setups that create unique environments. This often means customers finding that their reported issues cannot be reproduced or that their feature requests will not necessarily apply to or be valuable for other customers.

In a cloud environment, there is only one version of the code. So any issue that is identified by the user-base will be immediately visible to the vendor’s support and quality assurance departments. This means that issues are identified and resolved quicker, improvements are shared simultaneously across all clients, and all customers can share their knowledge and experience with their peers.

Next steps:

We have established that the cloud makes life easier for facilities services. It eliminates the need for expensive software upgrades, increases overall accessibility and improves user adoption. The next step is to create a business case that is specific to your college or university.

By collaborating with clients and partners, Accruent has developed an industry-specific questionnaire designed to uncover the costs of running an on-premise maintenance management system in a campus environment. Contact us today for an in-depth cost analysis for moving to the cloud.