A new year means a new you: and new best practices for your maintenance management! Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) — a category which also includes enterprise asset management (EAM) software and facilities management (FM or CAFM) — is stepping confidently into the future. This article investigates the CMMS market, CMMS software trends for the 2020s, and expert input on what CMMS trends to expect in the coming years.
- 39% percent of facilities use CMMS to manage maintenance activities.
- The main barriers to CMMS adoption are cost and technological resistance, and both are decreasing as time goes by.
- CMMS and EAM are giving way to a new form of asset management called APM.
- North America will be the largest CMMS market and Asia will be the fastest-growing market.
- AI and the IoT are going to have a huge impact on how organizations manage their assets.
- To stay competitive, both CMMS vendors and organizations utilizing CMMS will have to be adaptive and innovative in coming years.
What is CMMS?
We threw a lot of acronyms at you right off the bat, so let’s clear them up a bit first. CMMS, computerized maintenance management software, does what it sounds like — it manages your physical asset and facility maintenance. This can include vehicle and fleet management, facilities management, plant management, property management and more. It offers users a range of features and functionalities that optimize workflows and facilitate preventive maintenance plans instead of repairs to keep physical assets running as they should.
CMMS is an older term for the field of maintenance management; EAM and fixed asset management perform the same functions under different names and are the more modern iterations of the idea. CMMS is typically considered to be less comprehensive in its offerings and focuses almost solely on maintenance, whereas EAM software offers a wider range of asset management functions. We’ve written an article that breaks down the differences between EAM and CMMS if you want to go deeper, but this graphic sums up the main differences:
CMMS Market Trends
The market for CMMS is booming. By 2025, CMMS market share is predicted to reach a value of $1.5 billion with a CAGR of 9.8%. North America will continue to occupy the largest chunk of the market and all regional markets are expected to grow, but the markets in Asia and the larger APAC region is going to grow the fastest between now and 2025.
Some of the key players in the CMMS market are:
- Dude Solutions
- Maintenance Connection
- Real Asset Management
- MCS Solutions
- MVP Plant
CMMS Software Trends 2020
Now that you’ve had a basic rundown of CMMS, we can get into the good stuff. Where is the field of asset maintenance and management headed? What are some CMMS trends we should expect to see in the 2020s? We asked experts in the industry for their CMMS trends predictions, and here is what they said:
From Emerging to Universal
As we become more technologically savvy as a society, every nook and cranny we occupy does the same. Maintenance management has come a long way from punch card schedules, and the importance of CMMS in our new world can’t be understated. What was once a luxury is now a necessity. In an interview with SelectHub, Debby Mininni, Business Relations Manager at CHAMPS software, said that CMMS usage is a trademark of future-focused businesses:
“CMMS solutions are definitely a best practice among world-class maintenance organizations. A CMMS contributes so greatly to the efficiency of work and the actual bottom line that it simply cannot be overlooked for nearly all maintenance intensive industries.”
If maintenance software is really a best practice, how come everyone and their mother doesn’t already have it? A 2019 study by UpKeep found that only 39% of maintenance managers are utilizing CMMS. So what’s stopping the other 61%? Daniel Golub, General Manager at Hippo CMMS, talked to SelectHub specifically about the lag in adoption of maintenance technologies:
“Maintenance departments have been slower to adopt, and I think this is largely because maintenance is viewed as a cost center. Budgets were not made available to purchase software regardless of the return they promised, and traditional CMMS systems were much more expensive and cumbersome to use. So it was easy to reject.
“Today the market is much more competitive, so prices have gone down, support services [have] improved, and software functionality and user experience are always improving. With these improvements and the understanding [that predictive maintenance] reduces downtime, costly repairs and extends the life of assets, executives and managers are embracing CMMS as a business solution.”
So while maintenance software adoption rates are higher than ever, there are still barriers that prevent organizations — especially SMBs or companies that aren’t comfortable with the technological aspects of CMMS — from adopting these beneficial technologies. Steven Kyriakdis, Product and Support Manager at Maxpanda, shared his thoughts on entry barriers:
“Unfortunately technology resistance can be a hindrance for someone new to computer-aided methodologies. But more and more companies are aiming to overturn fears of long training sessions by providing a CMMS that a 9-year-old can use.”
This perceived complexity stops many organizations from purchasing a much-needed maintenance system because they’re worried it will be too difficult to learn. This fear isn’t always unfounded — in our 2018 survey, we found that of the buyers questioned, three percent were looking to downsize from a CMMS that was too cumbersome.
Rise of APM
Another acronym came up again and again from these experts who really know their stuff — APM, or asset performance management. If CMMS is the history of maintenance and EAM is the present, APM is the future. APM combines the maintenance scheduling of CMMS with the asset tracking and management of EAM, in addition to the interconnectivity of the Internet to create a powerful, proactive solution. Jerry Browning, Senior Solution Consultant for IFS in North America, had this to say about the value of APM:
“Now that available data is being mined, many asset driven companies such as airlines are crunching it to use the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. EAM and asset performance management (APM) applications are where the market is heading. CMMS is just a component of these software applications designed to maximize value delivered from productive assets.”
As Jerry says, the proliferation of data and the advancement of the tools we use to analyze it is catapulting CMMS into the more technological world of APM. APM allows users to track their assets’ performance in real time, monitoring for potential breakdowns and failures in order to stop them before they happen. This is where predictive maintenance meets preventive maintenance to perform condition-based monitoring, prolonging the life of both the asset as a whole and the individual parts that make it up. This proactive approach to an already preventive technology will allow users to significantly decrease their losses due to unexpected asset failures.
Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence
Smart, connected devices are the future of our world. As such, the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and AI are hot topics in almost every industry, especially those that utilize machines. When our machines are smart, they can monitor themselves and send real-time data back to managers, preventing a wide range of unexpected failures. Jerry Browning shares his thoughts on these technologies:
“Companies are dramatically increasing the use of IoT and using that data to support maintenance and asset management initiatives. From predictive maintenance to analytics for real-time asset management decisions, enterprise software will give plant and maintenance managers a more senior seat at the table by taking their function from a cost center to a profit center.”
The goal of increased IoT integration and autonomy is to collect more data as well as better data. This gives users the power to make data-informed decisions that align with long-term goals. IoT, Industry 4.0 and AI will develop hand-in-hand with software as they all become more sophisticated and integrated into the fabric of our society.
Other CMMS Software Trends
The betterment of CMMS doesn’t stop with smart machines and AI. Companies that make CMMS and those that use it have to adapt as well in order to stay competitive in an ever-changing world. Mininni has this advice for CMMS vendors:
“It will be important for CMMS companies to remain nimble and focused on innovation rather than copy-cat behavior. As maintenance management methods continue to grow and evolve, CMMS suppliers must bring fresh ideas to overcome new challenges.”
While innovation is key, it’s not always the most important element of a new software system to consider. Daniel Golub warns that a tried-and-true solution is often better than a fresh face with flashy new features:
“Technological change is constant and rapid. With so much change, a lot of new innovations will have a short lifespan and become obsolete quickly. For CMMS companies, it is important to have a long-term vision as well as a roadmap that is sustainable into the future and compatible with other technologies. For consumers, it is important not to get dazzled by the latest innovation – early adopters often pay a high price and find that something newer and better is around the corner. Most businesses that invest in CMMS don’t use all the features and functionality they purchased.”
The users in our study who were downsizing from CMMS platforms that were too extensive (and likely expensive) for their needs would likely agree with Daniel’s assessment. Each customer is unique, and finding a product that fits your organization’s specific needs is crucial to correctly choosing CMMS software. Steven Kyriakidis of Maxpanda explained to SelectHub how companies can get a competitive edge over other CMMS providers by focusing on customers’ needs:
“There are two types of CMMS companies: A and B. A are the companies…that continue to add value to existing software on a continuous basis. One could say [these applications are] in fact built by our customers. Without their direct feedback and support, we would be [a] stagnant app like most B CMMS in the industry. The secret is to continue development because if one customer will use a new feature, so will 1000 more.”
Customer-centric business practices are on the rise in every industry, and CMMS is seeing the same trend. Happy customers come back, so it’s really a no-brainer for creators to cater to the needs of their client base as they develop new products for asset maintenance.
Our experts say that adaptation, flexibility and innovation are what will set CMMS companies apart in the future. Their predicted trajectory for CMMS technology reflects these values and a spirit of improvement and evolution. AI and the IoT will become present in everyday operations in a big way, making asset management easier and more efficient for users as APM comes into its own. Customer care is key, and customer choice is equally important when it comes to choosing how to improve CMMS products. The verdict is in, and the future is bright!
Contributing Thought Leaders
Jerry Browning is the Senior Solution Consultant for IFS in North America. He is a service management specialist and IFS’ main R&D resource for North America. He writes for a variety of maintenance and software publications. IFS offers robust EAM and ALM solutions for a range of business sizes and specialties.
Debby Mininni is the Business Relations Manager at CHAMPS software. CHAMPS has been providing CMMS software since 1980 and offers powerful but affordable maintenance software solutions.
Daniel Golub is the General Manager at Hippo CMMS, a Canadian based software company that offers maintenance management software solutions to over 1,000 businesses in manufacturing, hospitality, municipalities, healthcare and more. Daniel has been with Hippo CMMS for more than seven years. He has an MBA in International Marketing and HR from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. Daniel resided in Taiwan from 2001-2011 when he returned to Winnipeg, Canada where he now resides.
Steven Kyriakidis is the Product and Support Manager at Maxpanda CMMS. Maxpanda is an affordable web-based CMMS solution with flexible subscription pricing. Specially designed for non-profits and SMBs, Maxpanda lets you start small and grow big.