CMMS projects: cloud or on-premise?

Choosing a CMMS (computerised maintenance management system) also means choosing a hosting option: in the cloud or on-premise? Both models meet the maintenance needs of businesses. However, this debate seems to be settled, both for customers and publishers.

server cloud on premise

So much for suspense: simply put, the tide of the duel between CMMS cloud and licensing has largely turned in favour of the former. And, looking at the figures of the past few years, the adoption curve is even remarkably fast. While some businesses remain attached to the licensing mode, the scales are now clearly tipped in favour of Cloud architectures.

DIMO Maint has observed this reversing trend over the past two years: “The shift occurred in 2019, when a little over half of our new CMMS customers opted for the Cloud offer. The trend further accelerated in 2020, with a proportion of newly acquired Cloud solutions now in excess of 70%. And an increasing number of specifications received automatically dismiss the possibility of CMMS under license”, points out Jean-Luc Sanjosé, DIMO Maint Sales Manager.

How does Cloud-based CMMS work?

With an on-premise CMMS solution, the IT infrastructure is hosted on the customer’s premises. By doing so, they retain control over their data and applications – which is often the prime motivation for maintaining a license, which conversely means that they must take charge of all aspects in terms of data accessibility, performance, security and backup, while providing the technical (servers, network, firewall, etc.) and human resources required.

When going into the public Cloud, the customer joins a community of users, within a shared infrastructure, while retaining ownership of their databases. The great benefit of this sharing process is to give access to computational power that some companies may not otherwise afford.

Its functioning differs from the licensing mode in several ways:

  • Hardware and software: in cloud mode, all these aspects are supported by the service provider. As a result, deployment requires no initial investment in IT infrastructures and personnel.

  • Implementation and use: installing software on user workstations is no longer necessary. As applications can be used online, a standard Internet connection is enough for everyone to access the service, obtained through subscription. The number of effective users can easily be revised upwards or downwards.

  • Updates: updates, scheduled by the publisher, are carried out automatically. This allows the entire community of users to migrate at the same time, thus ensuring that the client company uses the latest version of their CMMS platform, with no obsolete components.

  • Security and backup: in a Cloud architecture, data is stored within high-security data centres (physical protection, data encryption, cyber attack simulations, etc.), in accordance with existing regulations, including GDPR. It is incumbent upon the service provider to guarantee the availability and protection of customer data.

cloud-cybersecurity

Cloud computing has unquestionably paved the way for more flexible and affordable solutions, while enabling customers to refocus on their core business. Hence the rapid conversion of businesses, all the more so as they have identified Cloud computing as a driver for ramping up their digital transformation, involving investment decisions that no longer need to be made, shorter project cycles and the ability to simultaneously support a large number of users, via e-learning and tutoring. According to Gartner, the health crisis will further accelerate the trend: “70% of organisations using Cloud services today plan to increase their Cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis”, said Sid Nag, analyst for the firm.

A CMMS offer designed for the Cloud

In addition to appealing to customers, this model also forces publishers to reinvent themselves. “It encourages us to be more innovative and agile”, points out Jean-Luc Sanjosé. “At DIMO Maint, the MX product has been designed from the get-go to be 100% Cloud, while also making it fully compatible with a mobile use. There is increased demand for CMMS on-the-go, to access maintenance services from anywhere in a building, without the need for a complicated VPN procedure or, worse, having to return to the workstation. Furthermore, the product has been packaged to provide lighter, more frequent versions, easy to install and non-disruptive for the customer in terms of use and configuration. This is actually a challenge for us. With the principle of simultaneous upgrading our entire community of users, we must be 100% confident in the stability of our versions, without any bug whatsoever”.

Choosing the right partner

The paradigm shift of the Cloud confirms the emergence, no doubt long-lasting, of a new way of consuming IT services for businesses. And now CMMS adds to the already long list of software and applications available in the Cloud: ERP, CRM, accounting, business intelligence, email, storage, etc.

All that remains is to carefully select the CMMS publisher with whom to enter into an agreement. There are a few points to look out for, such as their ability to provide support, the strength of their hosting partners, their commitments to data security, privacy and, where appropriate, reversibility. Don’t hesitate to contact our teams to find out more.

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