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CAFM amidst COVID-19

Company News / PR

10/03/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Adrian Jarvis, director of FSI Middle East, discusses CAFM adoption during the pandemic, FSI's successes over the past 12 months, and new players affecting the current market share in an article with FM Middle East.

Has the pandemic driven the adoption of CAFM systems?

Well, yes and no. Many organisations that had already adopted CAFM, and who had already recognised its benefits, have continued to invest in enhancements to their CAFM processes and outputs, particularly around cleaning schedules.

However, the pandemic resulted in many 2020 budgets being curtailed, particularly, in government sectors. So whilst FSI has seen a strong uptake in interest around CAFM, especially in the KSA market, the number of new projects we have delivered in the Middle East in 2020 has not been as expected as in previous years.

The pandemic has, however, driven changes to FSI's CAFM functionality. For example, we have refined our Contractor product suite to adopt a 'contactless first' approach with the goal of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees, facilities staff and contractors, when they attend sites.

What has FSI observed over the last 12 months?

The last 12 months have been a challenging time for us all, but there have also been a number of positive outcomes resulting in changes in working practices. Along with working from home, most Middle East clients have accepted remote communication as opposed to on-site delivery of professional services, using tools such as Microsoft Teams. This approach is something, where appropriate to the task at hand, we have been advocates of for some time.

Being a global business has also helped FSI through the ups and downs of working from home and the uncertainty of the pandemic. As a company, we've discovered that globally we have become more connected across our business, which has delivered many benefits both internally and externally including increased knowledge sharing and a better understanding of the common challenges our staff face globally within the different regions.

Similarly, remote delivery has also meant the Middle East-based professional services team has been able to assist our colleagues in Australia and the UK to deliver various projects. It has provided a great platform for learning the nuances of different sectors and markets in other regions, which we are sure will also benefit our Middle East clients in the future.

FSI, a global leader in providing facilities management solutions software, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020, and it was pleasing to be recognised with excellence awards in Australia and impact awards in the UK.

From a technology perspective, we have seen increased demand for hosted subscription-based SaaS CAFM system requirements, as opposed to on-site premises installations. Whilst core CAFM requirements remain asset management, preventative and reactive maintenance, and performance reporting, there is increased demand for space management, smart building integration and business intelligence.

Do you foresee smaller CAFM players now entering the field and affecting market share?

FSI has seen many systems come and go over time while we have been in the business of developing and implementing solutions for the facilities management industry.

Of course, new players in any market can have an impact. That is why it is very important when considering a CAFM provider to consider not only the software features and functionality, but also the experience, professional services consultancy, training and support offered by a given CAFM vendor.

FSI's offering starts from a single-user system all the way through to international solutions across borders. We have many clients who started out managing a single building using FSI software, and now they have national and international portfolios being managed through our technology.

It is also important to determine whether the CAFM provider understands facilities management, and what the vendor's roadmap is. As your business evolves and priorities change it is important to find a solution and vendor that can accommodate both current and future needs and advise you on the journey. With a growing list of options on the market, it is important to spend time finding the right software for your organisation.

As we look ahead, the signs are positive despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19. FSI has seen a positive start to 2021, in that many stalled projects are now back on the table. As usual, FSI continues to develop and move forward with the introduction of new technology. Recently, Concept Evolution CAFM version 5.5 was released with enhanced resource planning and survey features. We will also introduce a new B2C solution @yourService soon. FSI Middle East is looking forward to a bright 2021.