At first glance, it may seem like all electronic/computerized maintenance tracking and management solutions have a similar touch and feel. This is why you need to delve a little deeper into the nuts and bolts – no, you don’t have to be a programmer – but by understanding some key points, the picture changes considerably.
Industry terms like servers, the cloud, mobile apps and APIs are not just programming terms. These terms speak to the very heart of your long-term success with electronic/computerized maintenance tracking solution. Here’s a few key areas to consider before you enroll.
The Server, the Cloud and Resiliency
This might seem like a ‘duh’ moment, but it’s important. Does the maintenance tracking solution run through a web browser? Does it require additional infrastructure such as servers, networks and admin? Who’s responsible for maintaining the application? A 100% cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) or an on-demand platform does not require any local software installation and supports a wide range of operating systems and browsers. A cloud solution should be geographically dispersed with redundancy to minimize the chance of a service disruption and provide recovery in the event of a catastrophe. Systems should be facilitated by modern, trusted cloud service platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.
The Mobile App
We live in a real-time, live access world. Your maintenance tracking solution should have mobile accessibility—but not all mobile apps are the same. Some apps are simply websites running in an app. Look for 100% native mobile apps for the best user experience. These are apps built after 2010. Beware the electronic maintenance management solutions that have web or hybrid apps delivered through a native app—performance could suffer.
The All Important API
The application programming interface or API is a term that may seem like just computer-speak, but it’s important. A solution built on modern API will let you continually improve application capabilities and access data in ways that you never anticipated.
Is it Secure
Finally, always ask about security features and ensure that your data is 100% is encrypted. There should never be an option for unencrypted data. Also ask if data is hosted in highly secure SSAE18 data centers with state-of-the-art physical and cyber security on geo-replicated servers.