Open Source Facility Management Software: Pros and Cons

Managing your facilities is really a task that may be challenging, in the increasingly technologically advanced era we reside in especially. As you know probably, there is a wide variety of facility management software solutions which have increased to meet this challenge, and can be found in an wide variety of development options equally. One that may be appealing is open source facility management software especially. This short article shall investigate why is facility management software open source, the drawbacks and advantages to open source facilities management and how exactly to select an facilities management solution.

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What’s Facility Management Software?

Facilities management software, also called computer-aided facility management ( CAFM ), or in some instances property management or building management, is software made to help users manage and keep maintaining their facility. It provides modules that perform selection of facility-related tasks including:

  • Assign and schedule maintenance work orders
  • Manage space rentals or bookings
  • Preventive maintenance scheduling/planning
  • Asset maintenance
  • Inventory management
  • Manage fleets
  • Monitor (as well as remotely manage) HVAC
  • Perform security tasks
  • Manage procurement
  • and orders

  • Manage materials transport
  • Contact/Contractor/Vendor management
  • Safe practices
  • Lease administration
  • Workspace management
  • Decision support

The primary goal of facilities management software would be to support facility managers in the oversight and maintenance of these facility and everything within it. This is a subcategory of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) that focuses specifically on facilities.

What’s Open-Source?

Now that you realize this is of facility management , we are able to move ahead to discussing what we mean by “open source facilities management.” Open source means a scheduled program whose source code is freely designed for manipulation by its users. Which means that users be capable of go in and make changes to the basics of this program.

Another component of open source software is that it’s designed for duplication and distribution by the finish users. This qualification isn’t a given as much companies that produce open source software could have legal restrictions from this. Editable code may be the main hallmark of an open source program. Some scheduled programs could have open source code and closed source licenses.

Open Source vs. Free vs. Freeware

Some terms which are confusing are open source often, free and freeware. Let’s define them in order to proceed with the sort of software that suits your preferences confidently.

Like open source, free software is defined by the capability to edit its source code and distribute copies. It really is more of an over-all approach to software when compared to a firm definition – where open source includes a specific group of rules , free software is referred to as any software that “ grants an individual freedom to talk about, study and modify it. ” So open source is really a kind of free software, plus some free software is open source also.

Freeware is what folks often think free software is – it really is software that is accessible to license without cost. A few examples are Skype, Adobe Discord and Reader.

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Benefits & Drawbacks

that you understand the fundamentals of open source software

Now, we can dive in to the cons and pros of deploying it.

Pros

1. COST BENEFITS

An integral benefit to open source software is its low priced relatively. As the parent organization doesn’t need to shoulder a lot of the costs connected with supporting software – training, customization, etc. – those savings could be passed by them to the consumer.

Based on if the answer is hosted in the cloud or on your own premises, the cost will be a continuing monthly subscription or perhaps a one-time fee, respectively. Those upfront costs are decrease by choosing an open-source version significantly.

Another place companies can price gouge their proprietary software is via customization. In case a client needs extensive customization from the vendor typically, they’ll be charged for each modification and adjustment. Doing these customizations yourself is a superb way to save some money.

2. Customization

Because an organization’s own developers have the effect of crafting open source programs, the customization options are just tied to your skill and budget. With a proprietary solution, owner must support all customization, which includes a hefty price.

It is possible to implement customization at your personal speed also. In case a change isn’t dealing with your processes, if you want to make additions or tweaks, you have that option: minus the lengthy wait time. This flexibility, control and freedom does not have any rival with proprietary software.

3. Versatility

Much like customization, open source software includes significant versatility.  It could serve small businesses, large organizations and enterprises in every industries. If your developers enough are advanced, they can make this program do a variety of unique items that can benefit your company with techniques unavailable to others with boxed solutions.

A benefit of the is that it could be embedded into other software solutions (such as a CMMS) to obtain original feature combinations which are highly relevant to your facility without buying anything extra, a standard flaw with boxed facilities management platforms.

4. Community

Another great good thing about choosing open source solutions may be the grouped community of other free software users. Open source platforms, free versions of proprietary systems especially, are always supported by way of a robust community of other users almost, troubleshooters, developers and much more.

Getting support from the grouped community such as this is a completely different experience than contacting customer care; it encourages users to collaborate and find out, becoming a specialist on the platform. It includes the advantage of being cost-free also, facilitating barter-like information trading and communicating in creative ways.

Cons

1. Developer Requirements

Vendors could provide open source solutions cost-free because they don’t need to put in the task to customize, support or implement them. The responsibility of development, implementation also it falls on you as well as your in-house team entirely. They are in charge of running, managing, adding features to and troubleshooting the operational system.

Which means that you will likely need to dedicate at least a little team of developers to focusing on the system either regular or for most their time. While this may be realistic for a big organization, most small facilities won’t need or have the ability to maintain this kind or sort of devotion.

2. Resource Drain

Those developers mentioned in the last section have to be compensated because of their time fairly, which can be a significant drain on your own organization’s resources. Competition for talent, skills in popular like coding especially, is very high. This implies you’ll likely end up competing for talent with software vendors, that may become pricey. If you aren’t positioned to aid excellent developers, one’s body shall be susceptible to bugs, loss and breakdowns of revenue.

3. UI Woes

The primary reason employees don’t utilize software to its full potential is basically because the machine isn’t intuitive to utilize. This gap could be even harder to broach if your users aren’t particularly tech-savvy or don’t use software frequently, as may be the case with many maintenance technicians. This is avoided through extensive training, but that adds yet another cost and does take time to learn, that may impact your team’s efficiency.

4. Insufficient Support

Support is really a huge advantage of traditional vendor-offered facilities management software, so it’s a con of open source solutions. While there could be a robust community for a few platforms, many in less tech-heavy industries (facility management, for instance) may not provide breadth of community necessary for your support needs. When there is a thriving forum community even, it could be difficult getting specific answers for troubleshooting questions in due time – questions may take days, weeks or months to be resolved even, which isn’t simple for an essential system task.

Another issue originates from engineering support. Something you purchase in the expense of a proprietary solution may be the specific goal-supporting engineering that switches into creating a solution from the bottom up, testing it and keeping it running. This reduces failure rates, decreases promotes and downtime simplicity. You are in charge of doing the study and development that switches into building an facilities management solution from the bottom up once you choose an open source platform.

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Is Open Source WORTHWHILE?

For users with a whole large amount of resources to spend on the project, open source facility management software is definitely an rewarding option incredibly, but there are lots of potential pitfalls. Open source projects should n’t be lightly. Within an afternoon you can’t implement it; it takes a whole large amount of time and dedication to include and keep maintaining the facility management features you will need, and you need to designate you to definitely perform continual management of the machine to make sure it’s always running smoothly.

Software Selection

Whether you’ve decided you intend to dive head-first into an open source project or purchase a system off the shelf, choosing the facility management solution could be tricky. Follow these steps and utilize these resources to create it suited and smooth to your specific business needs!

Collect Requirements

Step one would be to identify which top features of a facility management solution your company will utilize most regularly or most urgently. This facilities management requirements template lists all possible requirements and can help you prioritize them predicated on your needs.

Compare Software

Once you’ve identified the most important requirements for the organization, you’re equipped to compare platformed predicated on how well they perform in those certain specific areas. This facilities management comparison matrix offers analyst ratings in each requirement category for most industry leaders. Like this, you can develop a shortlist of the very best vendors for you personally – we recommend choosing around five.

Submit RFP

get yourself a customized price quote

To, demos, trials and much more information from these top matches, you’ll desire to create and submit a obtain proposal. This free template can show you through the making sure your RFP are certain to get you the information you need. While you await responses, have a look at this facilities management pricing guide to obtain a feel for industry pricing entry points and associated costs.

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SUMMARY

Open source facility management solutions have their cons and pros, and now you ought to be equipped with the data to find the best fit for the organization – irrespective of code accessibility.

What questions are you experiencing about facility management software or choosing it? Leave us a comment and we’ll reach you with answers back!

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