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M Software Survey 2016 - Trends in CAFM and facilities management

This month’s blogs have focussed on the findings of the industry-wide FM software survey, conducted earlier this year in conjunction with online news group, i-FM.  Having analysed the facilities management market, and then uncovered FM technology usage and its benefits, in this final report we look to the future at emerging FM software trends. See our infographic below for a full overview of the results. A summary report will follow shortly to highlight the key findings across all three areas.

The overall results show a forward-thinking industry, embracing technology to improve the efficiency of the facilities management function.  When compared with our 2015 FM software survey, the data shows that many of the ideas and predicted trends affecting the industry are already being addressed through FM software. Last year mobile and self-service were identified as the most important technology advances, but only 45% were managing FM through mobile and 44% through self-service. This year, however, we have seen a dramatic rise in both of these tools – an increase to 72% for mobile and 66% for self-service provision.

Although in the first survey infographic, the results showed the majority of respondents enjoyed an increased budget this year, budgetary pressure was still overwhelmingly voted as the most important challenge facing FMs in 2016. This points to the increased pressure being placed upon facilities management teams, not just for traditional maintenance and repair, but also in their extended role as a more global entity with responsibility for the productivity and workforce satisfaction across a whole organisation. The uptake of self-service and mobile is reflected in this, as both directly improve efficiency of the FM team through improved resource management, streamlined and more auditable processes, and better communication. For more information on these subjects, read Service Works’ blogs on the rise of mobile and productivity in FM, and on the key benefits of self-service CAFM software.  Both of these tools were again voted as the top two software trends this year (70% for mobile technology and 58% for self-service), meaning that facilities management software providers, like Service Works Group, must continue to develop new and usable functionality to meet the needs of the FM industry.

Experience shows that CAFM integration with other software applications has also seen a rise in popularity, as more organisations realise how the benefits of FM software can be multiplied to create a best of breed, fully functional, enterprise-wide solution. Budget was revealed to be a main concern in 2016, but the survey results show that organisations are using FM software to generate cost efficiencies by integrating with BMS (Building Management Systems) and finance software such as Sage and SAP. This is because CAFM software can automatically raise jobs and notify engineers when the BMS provides notification of maintenance or service requirements based on utilisation and age, enabling cost savings to be made as preventative maintenance is only performed when necessary.  Through QFM’s Room Bookings module, for example, bi-directional links with BMS ensure that lighting, air conditioning and heating are only activated where and when required, delivering further cost savings and improving energy efficiency.

Many FMs are now reaping the benefits of facilities management software to create a more productive and cost-efficient workplace, and by the trends identified in this software survey, it seems many more will look to do so in the future.

FM Software Survey 2016 - Software trends infographic