Shift to the Cloud makes CMMS/EAM more valuable!

Tim Millar of CyberMetrics says that shifting to the Cloud means that the CMMS/EAM you count on becomes markedly more valuable.

The Author
Tim Miller is Director of Operations for the Asset Management division of CyberMetrics Corporation. CyberMetrics provides world-class CMMS Maintenance Management and Calibration Management software solutions to more than 12,000 facilities worldwide

Let’s say you’re a facility maintenance manager whose duties include issuing asset preventative maintenance tickets, ensuring performance of work orders to OSHA standards, fielding emergency equipment breakdowns, minimizing downtime and measuring all associated costs. Managing a facility’s assets can be complex, so likely at the heart of your maintenance operations exists a computer with specialized maintenance management software such as a CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management Software) or EAM (Enterprise Asset Management software). Today, these legacy programs are proven, invaluable tools for managing a tight ship of daily maintenance activities.

Recent technology leaps within CMMS/ EAM have shifted these legacy programs into the Cloud Computing space, which is welcome news within facilities management. Shifting to the Cloud means that the CMMS/EAM you count on becomes markedly more valuable.

Technology Trend – The Cloud
The technological community is betting that Cloud Computing will change the entire computing industry; in fact, the cards are in play and momentum is being gained. Think of Cloud Computing as an application being run over the Internet via a simple web browser, web book or smart pad. So, if you have a Hotmail email account, have used Facebook or do your banking online, you are already using Cloud Computing.

Does CMMS/EAM Cloud Computing really eliminate the need for it?
Using CMMS/EAM in the Cloud eliminates the costs associated with purchasing expensive software and hardware. Waiting long periods of time for IT to schedule deployment, as well as relying on IT staff to manage a large database and IT infrastructure are things of the past. Cloud Computing provides the rich maintenance-centric software functionality while eliminating the heavy and expensive IT distractions of legacy software solutions.

Productivity for rent
Cloud solutions are typically offered by higher-end providers of asset management software such as CyberMetrics Corporation. CyberMetrics’ FaciliWorks 8i Hosted product is a true example of SaaS (software as a service) where you essentially rent the application and all of the associated hardware, software, IT support and database technologies. Typically, end users pay monthly and have no IT overhead or costs. Remember, the IT infrastructure and potentially nasty details of deployment are being moved to the Cloud, meaning that they are managed by the CMMS/ EAM development company. This shift allows maintenance workers to focus on delivering a well-managed facility instead of avoiding technology hurdles and speed bumps.

Is your data secure in a cloud?
Both your real-time activity and accumulation of data need to be secure. Leaders in Cloud CMMS/EAM ensure that transactions are secure by encrypting all data transactions across the Internet. This is achieved using Secured Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) and other encryption technology – the same technology used by online credit card companies, banks and even the military. Large, modern enterprise datacenters with specific security standards, ensured by third party audits such as SAS 70®, hold your data, so data maintenance, data recovery and disaster recovery are guaranteed processes that protect your investment. Maintenance management via a web application requires both modes of security to ensure end-to-end integrity and offer a solid alternative to legacy CMMS/EAM.

Economics is a key driver in any business decision. Deciding on a cloud-based CMMS/EAM solution offers several economic advantages, such as:

• Minimal requirements: you only need a web browser and bandwidth
• Elimination of costs associated with deployment, data management and hardware/software provisioning
• Cloud CMMS/EAM offerings run month-to-month which is cash-flow friendly and lowers the over-all total cost of ownership

All technology, such as refreshing, configuration, updates and upgrades are part of the Cloud service which has long-term operational and economical benefits

Other Considerations
Google™ has noted increases in security, flexibility and collaboration associated with Cloud Computing. The logic is compelling. A legacy CMMS is typically local to one or a few computers, but in the Cloud, maintenance users can download, perform and sign off on work orders anywhere with just an Internet connection (via mobile handheld devices, tablets or even cell phones). Multiple users at distant locations collaborating in real-time is exciting! Moreover, a legacy CMMS/EAM is local to on-site resources and doesn’t offer important flexibility. In the Cloud model, an extremely large volume of maintenance data is stored in a datacenter that is designed to be agile, increasing storage on demand, enhancing configurations and allowing for upgrading or customizing typically within minutes, not weeks. Collaboration and the flexibility to scale up and down quickly, all within a robustly secure environment, is a hugely compelling factor in considering the Cloud model.

No Worries
As a maintenance manager, the elimination of concern and cost regarding the technical details should be a welcome shift. With a Cloud CMMS/ EAM such as CyberMetrics’ FaciliWorks 8i Hosted, your application is ready in minutes, not weeks. You can rest assured knowing your data is safe within a datacenter that meets the stringent SAS 70® independent audit, designed to instill confidence in data services for consumers. Budget-friendly payment options avoid capital expenditure and simply don’t add up to enterprise level spends. And, as your needs change, there’s no need to pull in local IT staff; the domain experts at CyberMetrics become your IT team, ready to assist you in minutes.

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