Jul 29, 2021
By the FMClarity Team
If you’ve worked for a large organisation, you may have experienced the “joys” of dealing with internally developed legacy systems.
But what about scoping and developing a fully-fledged software system from the get-go? Surely this would capture all the bells and whistles your team needs and be customised to fit your current processes exactly? Unfortunately, the reality can be far from expectations. This article covers six of the top reasons why building a system in-house can result in a poorer end result for your organisation compared to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) commercial off the shelf (COTS) solution.
There’s a reason why so many business software systems look like… ahh business software systems. You’ve seen it before, pages and pages of tables and fields with little thought put into the prioritisation of functions – everything appears to be just dumped in. Often, business software systems are built by IT teams fulfilling a scope, with less focus on creating the best possible user experience for as many users as possible. Stagnation So, your organisation has scoped-out and built the best, new-fandangled in-house system you can imagine and then what? Well, that’s pretty much it. Tumbleweed. Once it’s built, the IT team will likely move onto another project (Look! Bright shiny thing!) and the system will stay the way it was built. Sure, the IT team will fix bugs when they absolutely need to, and add a few extra fields here and there – but re-do the user interface because it looks like Windows 98 and the market’s moved on? (Sorry, no can do. Too busy with this bright shiny thing.)
In-house IT teams deal with in-house issues, day-in and day-out. They are not out in front of new clients learning potential new ways of working or seeing what else is out in the market. SaaS companies live and breathe (and die!) by innovation. Believe it or not, this is what we get excited about.
Server rooms are becoming a thing of the past and for good reason. They are costly, time-consuming and energy-sapping, take up valuable real estate space and require an IT team to interpret the flashing lights, beeps and mysteries within. Even maintaining your own private cloud is a costly and time-consuming exercise. In a SaaS environment, all of this is taken care of for you and of course, managed at scale through data centres like Amazon Web Services (AWS) which are located locally in Australia as well as spanning 23 other 24 geographic regions and 77 global availability zones. Cost The initial set up costs and change-management disruption of in-house solutions can be significant, with the costs needing to be justified over many years, with as little extra investment as possible. Balancing the books puts the handbrake on unplanned upgrades or add-ons – even simple requests such as added users can create budget headaches if that means extra costs per user. SaaS is more adaptive and pliable, with upgrades, enhancements part of the ongoing natural lifecycle process. Costs can be managed more easily knowing that the licence covers what your organisation needs – such as adding unlimited users at any time.
The initial set up costs and change-management disruption of in-house solutions can be significant, with the costs needing to be justified over many years, with as little extra investment as possible. Balancing the books puts the handbrake on unplanned upgrades or add-ons – even simple requests such as added users can create budget headaches if that means extra costs per user. SaaS is more adaptive and pliable, with upgrades, enhancements part of the ongoing natural lifecycle process. Costs can be managed more easily knowing that the licence covers what your organisation needs – such as adding unlimited users at any time.
That intractability of in-house systems extends to limitations when it comes to support. Not only does the initial up-front investment influence the ongoing allocation of support time and costs, the need to apply IT resources elsewhere can take priority. Often the IP that created and implemented the original system may leave the business, taking their knowledge of the system with them. SaaS gives you the backing of locally-based support teams who are up-to-date with the technology, the local market, and global best-practice. This helps you accurately pinpoint your ongoing costs, with no hidden extras.
IT teams often have multiple tasks and conflicting priorities taking up their time. Implementing an in-house system can mean long testing periods, disruptive change management processes and time-consuming training. Plug-and-play SaaS platforms simplify the change management process by cutting the implementation from months to days. Apps with a familiar, intuitive interface will be easier for new users to pick-up in just hours, rather than taking days-long training sessions to try and figure out. Wider acceptance and seamless uptake ensure your upfront investment starts showing returns quickly, and keeps proving its worth as your organisation evolves and grows.
With facility management costs being reined in and staff time more constrained than ever, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to FM software solutions. Tried and tested, best-practice SaaS options deliver greater flexibility, adaptability and cost transparency while minimising disruption.