Beyond IWMS: 3 reasons you need an extensible workplace management solution

For nearly two decades, organisations have aspired to bring all their facilities, workplace, and real estate management functions into a single IWMS solution. While this concept is a great idea, in reality, very few companies have been able to achieve it.

The challenges are many – internal structures and alignment, outsourcing of major functions, and acquisitions that bring in new technologies to name a few. But the need for connected workplace management solutions has never been greater. Today’s workplace is more dynamic than at any other point in history, and achieving success hinges on having the right set of solutions in place to manage your real estate portfolio.

Fragmented tech stacks and bolted-on applications are no longer capable of adapting to new demands. Let’s take a look at three ways your workplace management solution might be falling short of today’s requirements.

1. Managing hybrid work

The pandemic was a catalyst for many organisations to implement hybrid work arrangements, marking a generational shift in the workplace. As companies adapt to managing a hybrid workplace, decisions regarding facilities and space have been elevated to a strategic level, which means workplace data and energy usage will be a significant consideration. Companies will require a more flexible workplace management solution to schedule and monitor space, track energy usage, and integrate the data together as part of a long-term corporate strategy.

2. Oversight into total portfolio costs

Today’s real estate organisations have a more urgent need to understand the cost of occupation, the demand for leased space, and how it impacts the broader business strategy. The amount of change that these departments are going through shouldn’t be underestimated.

As organisations shift to the hybrid workplace, they often find that they have excess capacity in their office portfolio. This excess capacity creates tremendous opportunity for cost savings, but how can you access and unlock those savings?

Real estate teams have been faced with transitioning to new lease accounting standards and adapting to the increased strategic importance of leases. Today, they are also tasked with collecting and assessing usage data and productivity insights from both the physical footprint and financial leases to quickly inform strategic decisions regarding the optimal size of leased portfolios and productivity goals.

Business has evolved, but many workplace management solutions have not. Traditional IWMS solutions were not designed to handle the shorter-term planning cycles that are taking place in the market today, and real estate and facilities teams require more flexible technology to meet business demands and manage leases at the portfolio level.

3. Employee health and safety

When Gartner created the term “IWMS” almost 20 years ago, the definition focused on meeting the needs of corporate IT, facilities, and real estate departments in a single database with little consideration if any for the employee experience. Today, employee health and safety are an integral part of workplace management, yet most IWMS solutions don’t offer the flexibility to integrate with presence management applications that can provide accountability and peace of mind.

Businesses are redefining the workplace, and it’s time to also redefine the solutions that help them manage it. Workplace management systems need to be scalable and able to integrate with emerging technologies and third-party providers.

XWMS: an open ecosystem for workplace management

To allow organisations to choose the tools that align best with the unique needs of their industry, MRI has coined the phrase “XWMS”: an extensible workplace management solution. We define it as an open ecosystem that enables integration with best-in-class technologies so organisations can strategically plan, manage and optimise real estate, facility and leasing portfolios – without limits.

The redefined XWMS offers an open and connected approach to help businesses accelerate digital transformation and adapt to new market demands through an extensive partner ecosystem and integration capabilities.

XWMS is the new IWMS

Today’s real estate and facilities management teams deserve a redefined approach to workplace management technology.

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