For corporate real estate professionals, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for IWMS has been the go-to resource for facilities management software since the 90’s. So when you need to take control of CRE space planning to reduce costs and plan for the workplace of the future, you might automatically turn to the IWMS Magic Quadrant for guidance.

While this is a great place to start, forward-thinking organizations are looking for additional tools to augment the features and functionality of traditional integrated workplace management systems. When a strong IWMS is partnered with space utilization software, CRE leaders are better equipped to meet the demands of the modern workplace. 

The modern workplace requires more modern tools

The increasingly mobile workforce and the rise of the digital business are impacting the way companies manage and use office space. As a result, the market for facilities management applications is changing rapidly, especially for space management and strategic planning.

In fact, Gartner has acknowledged these new requirements in their 2016 Market Guide for Integrated Workplace Management Systems. In their report, Gartner recommends that CRE and FM executives must:

  • Manage facilities while providing for the needs of the digital business for “agility, mobility, collaboration and innovation”
  • Collaborate with IT and HR to “drive a more effective, agile digital workplace” that can improve the employee experience, engagement and productivity
  • Implement “collection and analytics of actual workplace utilization data… to effectively manage the digital workplace.”

Many traditional IWMS providers (especially those recognized as Magic Quadrant leaders) do a great job integrating your workplace data into one system. Although they weren’t necessarily designed to manage the digital workplace, they can work with other systems, like Serraview’s space planning and workplace optimization tools, that do.

Related article: The Myth of IWMS: Why One Solution Does Not Fit All

How Integrated Workplace Management Systems work with utilization software and workplace optimization systems to address space planning

Now that CRE leaders are focused on creating workplaces that foster those important qualities (“agility, mobility, collaboration and innovation”), they need to start taking a more active approach to the data brought together in their IWMS.

Support the collaborative culture and agile working

The traditional systems in the IWMS Magic Quadrant are built on the assumption of workplaces with assigned seating. So what happens when you want to implement a shared workspace model to engage your workforce and enable a collaborative culture?

To successfully make those kind of changes—and in turn, see more collaboration, employee engagement and productivity—you need a tool that captures accurate, real-time utilization data. For example, Serraview’s workplace optimization software receives activity data from badge swipes, sensors, beacons and other technologies. When you overlay that data with the floor plans and allocations in your IWMS, you can discover opportunities to shift your workplace model.

As these types of space utilization tracking technologies continue to advance and see wider adoption, CRE leaders who don’t supplement their IWMS with tools that can handle that data may face additional, unexpected challenges as they try to optimize their workplaces for a modern workforce.

And with as many as 60 to 70 percent of companies implementing agile working in at least part of their workplace portfolio, this becomes a serious deficiency. Luckily, youcan continue to reap the benefits of a product in the IWMS Magic Quadrant—lease management, asset tracking, energy management and more—and just layer agile workplace optimization software for proactive space and scenario planning. 

Enable the mobile workforce

In an agile environment, employees need additional tools to help them navigate the space. Collaborative working often means moving around quite a bit throughout the day and finding spaces for meetings or work sessions spontaneously. Wayfinding apps help them locate and reserve open workstations, book conference rooms or find colleagues. These tools can be used on desktop computers, but more often employees use mobile apps or kiosks that can be located throughout the workplace.

This is something that traditional IWMS systems aren’t designed to do—but they can provide the foundation for a workforce enablement tool that will.

Streamline decision-making

A decade ago, the idea of right-sizing a global portfolio or supporting non-assigned seating was rare. That’s why features like strategic scenario planning tools aren’t included in products in the IWMS Magic Quadrant.

Related article: Why Corporate Real Estate Leaders Must Pay Attention to Space Planning

But when coupled with workplace optimization software, CRE leaders can effectively serve today’s workforce—without sacrificing the valuable features and functionality their IWMS offers.

For example, products in the IWMS Magic Quadrant excel at lease management—reminding CRE leaders when it’s time to start reviewing their leases and considering whether they should make a move or adjust their footprint in their current space. Workplace optimization software speeds up the process of reviewing your current space usage and comparing different potential scenarios. 

Look to “IWMS 2.0” for integrated best-in-class applications

If you want a workplace that truly supports agility, collaboration, mobility and innovation, workplace optimization software excels at partnering with products in the IWMS Magic Quadrant to accomplish that.

Look for best-in-class space planning and workplace management tools that are designed from the ground up to support the modern workplace. You can get the space planning capabilities you need to drive CRE optimization, more reliable data, and better analytics to help you make better decisions. With both systems in place and working together, you get the best of both worlds. The IWMS assists with every aspect of facilities management, while the workplace optimization software improves your space planning.

This new workplace technology framework is possible because today’s standards make it much easier to integrate multiple cloud-based, best-in-class systems with a common database and process engine. That means you get better tools for a much lower cost—and once you start capturing real-time utilization data, you can take action and see results in a matter of months.

Think of products in the IWMS Magic Quadrant and workplace optimization software like salt and sugar while cooking: when you use both appropriately, you bring out the fullest and best flavors in the dish.

Here’s an informative resource that can help you focus your evaluation on the capabilities that will bring you the best return on your investment: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.