The other day, a colleague who works in facilities asked me: “What’s the Internet of Things, and what does it really mean to me?” I told him it’s integrated building automation on steroids. It’s smart buildings, resilient buildings, and sustainable buildings. It’s facilities intelligence. That’s a lot for anyone to get their arms around, but it’s true. The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming facilities management. It’s a digital revolution facilitating some of the industry’s hottest trends.
Digitalisation has changed the perspective of a user and a supervisor of how a building is portrayed. Mobile technologies, wireless sensors, beacons and big data analytics have totally revolutionised how a tenant and a facility manager interact with each other and manage the facilities of a building.
Overall system capability can be improved and increased by linking two or more similar systems, thus incorporating IFM and IoT into facilities management. For example, a dashboard that stores cross-functional information for one department within a business provides an integrated system. Integrated systems can help to ensure that information pertaining to resources and assets flows seamlessly around an organisation.
In fact, the potential for smarter technology in FM is infinite. Those adopting IoT technology now are gaining considerable benefits—including increases in productivity, greater cost savings and lower risks.
There are three emerging market trends that look set to drive the facilities management sector during 2018. The use of technology already plays a vital part in ensuring a streamlined and well-connected facility management department. It is therefore expected that continued development and advancement in tech, such as IoT (Internet of Things), will create a whole wave of new opportunities for vendors who are seeking to upscale their operations and improve the efficiency of their services during 2018.
To protect investments in smart, IoT-integrated buildings, apply solutions that are scalable and adaptable. Be prepared to expand systems as new technologies emerge and operators request additional features and capabilities. It is reasonable to expect that advances in algorithms and analysis, new technologies for business and personal use, and more will be coming in the future. Integrators should prepare today’s smart buildings to develop into the intelligent buildings of tomorrow.