Trends to Watch For
Technology has been transforming the lives and livelihoods of people rapidly over the last century, and the speed is only increasing. People rely upon technology for a better standard of living, whether it be in the office, in transit, or at leisure.
Technology can help fulfil the constant demand for cost and energy efficiency in facilities management, keeping your organization competitive and attractive to modern talent. This article will cover the latest emerging trends, why they are so hot currently, and how your organization can also benefit from this new technology.
Nearly everyone has heard of the “internet of things” (IoT) by now. In facilities management, it was such a widespread and rapid uptake of this technology that solutions are expected to offer IoT systems. The mere use of the buzzwords no longer earn you brownie points.
Facilities management benefitted from the use of sensor technologies which create a virtual ecosystem of interconnected systems which operate and communicate without human intervention. These systems have benefitted from technological advances in other domains, making their implementation, powering, and deployment incredibly simple.
Beyond their self-sufficiency, the benefits of such technology are numerous. They are primarily used to gather various types of data in real-time, which are both used to monitor and control aspects such as ambient temperature and water treatment, and collected for further analytics about building usage, function, and control.
Facility managers have to navigate vast amounts of data, even without sensor technology. This data must be able to be analyzed, understood, and used to inform decision-making. This process can be difficult and long to say the least, but also crucial when it comes to making cost-saving operational decisions.
Here is where data management systems come in. Data is extracted not only to provide information on the past and project the future, but also to provide real-time solutions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) capacities. As a result, you get insights into not only what is happening but why it is happening, which is much more useful information for effective decision-making, as well as permitting more proactive, action which reduces costs and harms.
Due to automation capacities, these systems combined are particularly useful when combined with IoT sensors. You can also more clearly see the positive impact of your IoT systems when connected to data analytics software, both in the present moment and over time.
The expectation in this day and age is to be able to access data anytime, from anywhere. Cloud technology is the key to achieving this, as all you have to do is log in, and you have the entire data world available at your fingertips.
More than this, cloud-based solutions can offer tailored access to data for a user-friendly experience, easier management, and efficient work. Depending on necessity or confidentiality, you can customize project-based access controls to some data that can be made available only to specific users.
Accessibility is not the only advantage of the cloud. You can gather and store data in the cloud without the risk of losing data.
Security concerns are often cited as the main drawback of cloud computing. However, innovation in this area is rapidly developing. Cloud providers also have large incentives for protecting their clients’ data, making their defenses potentially even tighter than your local security systems. Be sure to look for solutions that encrypt all sensor and analytics data in transit and at rest and ask for a third-party security and penetration test by a well-known security consultancy firm.
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All these new technologies have really come to the forefront this past year, but this one especially. Without access to physical buildings and locations due to COVID-related restrictions, the ability to control and monitor assets remotely is paramount.
This new technology is reliant upon the first three and extends the value of these systems. When limiting human presence is a priority, these systems come in handy as they indicate specifically when and where attention is needed. Systems that may need to be altered from their automated cycles can be changed without entrance to the building. In addition, especially when people are not regularly in the building, remote monitoring is crucial for ensuring nothing falls into disrepair in the absence of use of attention.
Just like IoT systems, digital workplace services are becoming an expectation for modern offices. Whereas before such amenities were seen as a luxury used to attract talent, these days (due to the pandemic), such services are often basic necessities for company function.
These services make use of smart technology such as sensors, analytics, digital signage and apps for a fully integrated and accessible experience. Examples of such technologies include:
- Real-time occupancy and way-finding
- Space reservation and occupancy control
- Temperature and climate monitoring and control
- Service requests
- Cleaning statuses and event-driven regimes
- Tech-interface and facilitated communications
Both the hardware and software for these digital ecosystems are being developed rapidly, improving functionality as well as use-value and analytics. Not only does such technology make workplaces more efficient, effective, and attractive, but it also makes them safer.
While certainly trending at the moment in the corporate world, these new technologies are here to stay. The pandemic has introduced a necessity for such systems but has also revealed their benefits beyond the COVID-era. While some say that remote work will persist as the new way of work, data reveals the continued importance of office spaces, and so investment in new technologies will not only give you a business edge but will also place you at the forefront of office innovation solutions.