Published: Nov 26, 2020

Businesses spent a lot of money on corporate buildings and offices. And it takes even more resources to maintain such premises. The need for digital transformation in the management of corporate facilities creates the market for workplace management systems.

First users of workplace management systems were landlords, real estate owners, lessees and facility services companies. They needed a tool to congregate buildings’ data and apply operationally beneficial decisions. Initially, the main goals of integrated workplace management software were cost reduction and cost optimization.

However, according to the Gartner Market Guide, with the development of the market of workplace management tools and drastic changes in the business environment, now the focus has shifted to user experience improvement. The workplace management software’s audience has widened as well. All sorts of office premise occupants and visitors require workplace management solutions.

With such an extension of customer groups, the range of requirements to integrated workplace management software has also broadened. The variety of customer demands resulted in creating several types of workplace management tools, offering different functionality for each target group of customers.

The definition of an integrated workplace management system

An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) is a software solution that provides functionality for buildings’ operational management, workplace management and employee engagement. Real estate owners and landlords, real estate investors, managing agents, facility service companies, building occupiers are the users of workplace management systems. Different user groups’ demands vary greatly, so workplace management solution vendors usually offer an integrated suite of scalable and customizable modules.

The essential functionality of integrated workplace management systems

With the intent to automate basic business processes, integrated workplace management solutions offer functionality to address the following fundamental tasks.

Real estate portfolio management

When a company needs an office, it looks for an asset to purchase or lease or builds the premises. Occupancy, ownership and financial management of the real estate are the business activities for which managers appreciate applying software and tools.

Workplace Management

Real estate portfolio management

When a company needs an office, it looks for an asset to purchase or lease or builds the premises. Occupancy, ownership and financial management of the real estate are the business activities for which managers appreciate applying software and tools.

Business demands

  • Real estate acquisition
    (purchase and lease)
  • Financial management
  • Asset portfolio management

IWM software features

  • Strategic planning
  • Transaction management
  • Lease analysis
  • Lease management
  • Lease accounting
  • Portfolio management
  • Tax management

The main benefit of implementing an integrated workplace management system for the real estate management area is a possible cost reduction. The software helps businesses to aggregate and analyze data relevant for the real estate asset. The effective organization of business resources, understanding strategy plans and available options help managers make budget-saving decisions.

Capital project management

Business environments are not static. Companies may grow or reorganize the structure and workflows. And corporate buildings also may need to change to fit the new reality accordingly. Capital management deals with the design and development of the new facilities as well as with redesign, expansion and improvement of the existing premises.

Business demands

  • Design and construction of new facilities
  • Expansions, renovations, or replacement of existing facilities

IWM software features

  • Capital planning and execution of projects
  • Documentation and design management
  • Project management
  • Procurement
  • Cost and resource management
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Critical path analysis

For managers, construction workers, operators, building owners, an integrated workplace management software is an assistant for planning the future, keeping track of construction projects, collecting information and project documentation. Providing a digital platform to access and search for information and documents, an integrated workplace solution helps stakeholders increase collaboration and interaction transparency.

Space and facilities management

Corporate building owners and occupiers want to know how their buildings are used by their employees and visitors, which facilities and services an office requires. The statistics and analysis of such data allow managers to make office premises a better place to work and ensure a good user experience.

Workspace utilization, rooms and desks scheduling, booking and management are other tasks that an integrated workplace management software helps managers cope with.

Business demands

  • Strategic facility planning
  • Facility management
  • Space management
  • Premises and employee service management

IWM software features

  • Facility scenario modeling and analysis
  • Building information modeling
  • Space planning
  • Space scheduling
  • Rooms and desks booking
  • Resource scheduling
  • Service management
  • Move management

Having visualized floor plans and space utilization and reservation information at an interactive workplace management tool, office premises managers may boost user experience. With the help of analytics from software, a business can provide relevant services and apply maintenance efforts right the way their users need.

Maintenance management

Office premises and facilities also require some fixes, remodeling or renovation from time to time. Automation of maintenance and support business activities, along with the database containing information about the building condition, service vendors, work orders, inventory of available replacements and tools offered by an integrated workplace management solution, is vital for efficient asset management.

Business demands

  • Asset support management
  • Maintenance management

IWM software features

  • Preventive maintenance tasks
  • Corrective maintenance plans
  • Warranty tracking
  • Work requests
  • Inventory management
  • Vendor management
  • Order administration
  • Facility condition assessment

In the field of office premises support and maintenance, the functionality of integrated workplace management solutions is intended for the retention of premises’ useful life. Managing all maintenance and support activities via a digital platform simplifies dealing with multiple flows, prioritizing maintenance tasks and keeping repair costs within budget constraints.

Sustainability and energy management

Corporate environmental responsibility is the trend many businesses support now. Corporate building owners think of ways to reduce energy and water consumption and waste production and implement green energy sources and sustainability approaches.

Business demands

  • Sustainability management
  • Energy management

IWM software features

  • Real-time resource consumption measurement
  • Energy efficiency analysis
  • Sustainability performance metrics
  • Integrations with building management systems

Integrated workplace management systems allow measuring resource and energy usage, analyzing the consumption, monitoring and preventing resource wasting activities. Via building management systems, an integrated tool helps automatically adjust heating and cooling systems and lighting, minimize consumption and reduce costs of resources. Resource-saving features of an integrated workplace management system help businesses implement a sustainable and responsible attitude to the environment.

The gap between offered integrated workplace management solutions and customers’ needs

Five core areas of application mentioned above and the rich feature list make integrated workplace management software highly desirable and Verandix’s analysts predict the growth to $737 million in 2024 in expenditure on IWMS. However, the ever-changing business environment raises new challenges and opens up new horizons to reach for vendors of integrated workplace management solutions. There are three groups of still uncovered needs of IWMS buyers.

Customer's Needs

The need for being business-friendly

  1. Businesses prefer SaaS deployment applicable for all company sizes, cloud-based integrated workplace management solutions with a modular and scalable architecture.
  2. Companies look for an easy-to-implement integrated workplace management software that requires as little customization as possible if any.
  3. Organizations need global delivery to implement the same integrated workplace management platform for all branches and transparency in the pricing policy for the tool, without requesting a vendor bid.

The demand of being user-centric

  1. Beyond business tasks, companies need integrated workplace management systems features to boost collaboration and interaction between users.
  2. Multiplatform compatibility, multi-tenant implementations, mobile apps with intuitive interfaces, location-based services and voice-operated functionality are the most-wanted functionalities from IWMSs.
  3. Businesses search for integrated workplace management software offering extensive data visualization functionality, including visual analytics and all sorts of dashboards and reports.

Challenges of new realities

  1. In addition to a modular architecture, companies need flexibility from integrated workplace management solutions and expect having access to APIs to enable data exchange and integrations with other business software.
  2. Companies need integrated workplace management software compliant with legal and financial standards, providing virtual assistance for decision making.
  3. Organizations need a long-term vision, and integrated workplace management systems implement machine learning, digital twins technology and different depths of industry-focused functionality for customers.

Final thoughts

Integrated workplace management systems are powerful digital tools helping automate activities associated with real estate management, capital project management, space and facility management, maintenance management, sustainability and energy management. The main benefits of IWMS implementation for business still remain cost optimization and reduction, along with boosting user experience. However, deploying an integrated workplace management solution out of the box often does not meet all business needs. Organizations require customization of integrated workplace management systems to their business processes, multi-country deployment and industry-specific adjustments.

SYTOSS is a software development and integration partner providing IT services, including system integration, data migration, integrated systems customization, maintenance and support. Suppose you are a business on the lookout for an integrated workplace management system. In that case, SYTOSS may assist you with consulting on available solutions, implementing IWMS, customizing software, building integrations with other systems, using APIs to develop extended functionality. Our portfolio also includes UI and UX improvements for complex integrated systems for enterprises and and Telecoms, and we can do the same for integrated workplace management systems, too. SYTOSS’s proficiency comprises web and mobile development spheres, along with modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence and neural networks