A CMMS is one of the most important software applications a company will use.Â One of theÂ firstÂ questionsÂ organizations askÂ when searching for the right Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)Â is “do we want a cloud-hosted option or an on-premise option for our software platform.
Technology and maintenance needs are changing rapidly for companies.Â Therefore, choosing the right platform for today’s software may be much different than a few years ago.
CMMS solutions fromÂ just 15 yearsÂ agoÂ couldn’tÂ connect to the internet. There was no choiceÂ but to store dataÂ on-premiseÂ at each business location. ButÂ gradually,Â cloudÂ storage has become a viable option for many companies.
As businesses seek alternatives for data storage another trend has gained popularity for enhancing the data that’s stored andÂ analyzedâÂ the IndustrialÂ InternetÂ of Things (IIoT).
WhatÂ IIoTÂ Means for Your Big Data
TheÂ Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is refers toÂ machines that canÂ connect with one another. This way, they can quickly shareÂ data and compileÂ actionable reports.
TheÂ IIoTÂ trendÂ allows machines to transmit data to an analytic solution andÂ CMMSÂ isÂ just one type of technology that can supplementÂ this data sharing byÂ focusingÂ on machine maintenance.
The specific way CMMS solutions supplement this trend isÂ through condition-based maintenance. When machines can give real-time readings on certain variables, such as temperature,Â oil viscosityÂ or wear damage, the solution can predict when it’s time to conduct maintenance.Â This is also called predictiveÂ maintenance, as it collects the data for experts toÂ makeÂ predictions.
NotÂ everyoneÂ seeking CMMS will want condition-based maintenance.Â CMMSÂ isÂ alsoÂ great for scheduling routineÂ maintenance, which doesn’t require the transfer of data in real-time.
When it comes toÂ hostingÂ maintenanceÂ software, whetherÂ it’s forÂ keeping up withÂ real-time conditions or for periodic reminders,Â businesses can opt forÂ on-premiseÂ or cloud solutions.
On-premise vs Cloud
On-premise:Â Hosting dataÂ on-premiseÂ means you must maintain the hardware thatÂ stores your data. ThisÂ requires each business to have itsÂ own IT staffÂ to manageÂ allÂ the back-end work on a dedicated serverÂ inÂ theÂ office building.
- Pros: OffersÂ the clientÂ fullÂ control,Â opportunity for total customization.
- Cons: Upfront, continual hardwareÂ costs,Â requires dedicated in-house team, costs are harder toÂ determine for a return on investment (ROI).
Cloud:Â Hosting data in the cloud means you rely on the vendorÂ to host your data as anÂ additionalÂ service. This means much less IT work onÂ theÂ client’sÂ end andÂ the data is accessible through the internetÂ for any user at any time and any location.
- Pros: Highly accessibleÂ from any computer or mobile device,Â simpleÂ to manageÂ for clients, costs are easyÂ to estimate on a steady monthly basis, less interruptions.
- Cons: Can require moreÂ cost spread over time and requires reliance on a vendor partnership to ensure data is always available.
Check out this article on the benefits of Cloud Hosting.
Clients whoÂ opt forÂ on-premiseÂ CMMS typicallyÂ alreadyÂ have a dedicated server and data warehouse, whereas clients leaning towardÂ cloud optionsÂ needÂ data storage as a service along with the full Software as a Service (SaaS) platform.
Within the context ofÂ IIoT, there’s anotherÂ very important difference between these two methods of hosting data. Cloud storage can’t match the security ofÂ on-premiseÂ storage.Â For those seriously considering theÂ IIoTÂ trend, your data is more sensitive than standard preventiveÂ maintenanceÂ data.
If yourÂ businessÂ intendsÂ on using CMMS for relatively small-scale initiatives, such as a preventive maintenance routine on a fleet of cars to scheduleÂ oil changes, there’s a good chance cloud storage willÂ allow the fastest ROI on your purchase.
But, if yourÂ businessÂ is investing in predictiveÂ maintenance,Â andÂ may connect high capitalÂ or mission criticalÂ equipment to the CMMS solution,Â such as in an oil refinery, water treatment plantÂ or even a healthcare facility, theÂ securityÂ and reliabilityÂ of this dataÂ is oftenÂ more sensitiveÂ thanÂ it would beÂ at other facilities.
Cloud solutions come with risk that can’tÂ be reduced due to the architecture of the network. When a CMMS solution is hosted on a cloud server, it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.Â Vendors must keepÂ dataÂ secureÂ while also keeping it available at all times forÂ theÂ businessÂ to rely on.
Some organizationsÂ can’t risk losing their data and will favor keeping it in-house as a long term data governance strategy. These organizations often have an enterprise-gradeÂ planÂ to tryÂ andÂ always keep dataÂ on-premise.Â TheÂ strategy is more than preventing hackers from stealing sensitive data, and also considersÂ possibilities such asÂ serviceÂ interruptionÂ that’s out of the business’s control.
The majority of businesses don’t have this restriction and will find cloud storage offers a great deal of flexibilityÂ withoutÂ burdening IT.
The Bottom Line
Depending on the type of dataÂ stored, both options haveÂ different benefits. For most, the choice will beÂ made byÂ calculating ROI and assessing theÂ risks. CloudÂ storageÂ hasÂ becomeÂ a viableÂ option, butÂ on-premiseÂ will always be a consideration asÂ well.