The workplace management industry is shifting
You plan vacations; check the weather, book excursions, see if there are any local events, and most importantly you listen to travel advisories. Staying up to date with trends & ahead of them is a part of business too.
Knowing market patterns and where an industry may be (or might not be) headed while staying on top of these patterns and trends is what sets businesses apart. Playing catch up in your industry or finding your organization stuck behind the 8 ball can throw a wrench in most plans.
Where the workplace management industry is goingis not only useful for vendors of software, but any organization that has an office building they regularly use; so almost everybody.
Where we are
We’re seeing a significant shift in the industry of workplace management systems both on the vendor side surrounding what is being offered and the focus of many firms and technology developers. A report published in 2022 (Verdantix, Market Size & Forecast: Space and Workplace Management Software 2021-2027 Global, 2022) vendors who offer purely office space and workplace management software such as reservation apps make up 24% of the market. Just behind these vendors are computer aided facilities management solutions at 18% of the market.
On the other hand, who is entering the industry as in who is buying these solutions and who is putting them to use is of importance. The same report found that firms leasing office space account for 72% of global spending, with most (85%) of these firms having 1000+ employees. While SME’s are beginning to integrate these technologies more with hybrid work, larger portfolios are the ones who make up most of the market.
Market trends & Where We’re Going
Things are looking up in almost every aspect of the market, with the IoT and smart city sector of investments predicting $24b in 2023 and beyond for smart city functionalities.
Verdantix research conducted this year found that space management, occupancy analysis, and occupant engagement are three areas that are going to see significant growth in the industry with nearly 20% growth in each area. This comes as no surprise when you look at the trajectory the workplace is headed; workplace management is being integrated to optimize the use of office space, design offices better for employees, and collect data on occupant use.
Visitor management and space planning are expected to rise as well, pointing to a notable shift towards stewardship and focusing on people in the way businesses handle workplace management
IWMS solutions that target facilities, and the physical building are still going to be a focus for many, however recent moves by firms on both sides of the industry are now looking at management of people and how to improve the human experience in the office.
Acquisitions such as that of Tango acquiring noted mobile workplace application billie, and the emergence of firms such as Horizant that focus on the people within the office and improving their relationship with the built environment see them becoming leaders in their space. This shift towards a focus on people rather than physical systems is one that is expected to drive organizational decisions for the coming years.
The investment of people
Modern workplaces for modern employees require technology that supports such an environment, and the market trends for building such an environment are there to back it up as property management is being redefined.
Now we can see the direction things are moving, the “great resignation” that we saw during covid as well as the sea of open positions meant that people are no longer working in jobs they don’t like and sticking it out. People want to be somewhere where the organization invests in creating an environment that supports their needs at work as well as their professional growth.
Emergence of CPIP
Over the last decade or so, IWMS has been the prevailing term, but as of late the emergence of CPIP as the umbrella word for these technologies changes the flavoring. CPIP is an acronym for connected portfolio intelligence platform; Verdantix research published in a study titled Market Insight: The Transformation Of IWMS To Connected Portfolio Intelligence Platforms (CPIP) conducted recently has stated that this technology is aimed at enhancing the performance of buildings through portfolio, operations and employee experience. A more
The change makes sense as IWMS and workplace management might be too specific of a term for an industry & tech that is now pivoting to cover more than facilities and is taking on a more intelligent support role across the entire portfolio.
While the Jetsons are a ways away, smart cities are about as close to the technological metropolises of the future as we can get. Smart building technology and IoT are becoming more widely used in the workplace, and with them the rise of smart buildings.
With the rise of IoT sensors comes expanded range of data collection and control over a buildings facilities and systems. Smart buildings allow for preventative maintenance, diagnostics, and a larger potential for automation.
In the UK, this technology is touted as the “future of Britain” in some cases, and with the increased attention to improving the employee experience. The ability to adjust things like heating, lighting or air flow are suddenly more accessible through mobile apps.
Luckily, the technology for IoT and smart buildings is being evaluated by more building managers every year and the tech are getting cheaper, which will hopefully lead to wider adaptation.
Innovation is about change that truly overhauls an industry or part of society because it takes how we do things and forces us to revisit that. Emerging technology in the space of facilities management are aiming to do just that. Digital twins and IoT are the two main areas here that are not quite at full adoption in the mainstream market, but their emergence will change how we interact with our physical surroundings.
Sensors and their IoT networks are on the rise and emerging as something that all buildings are going to integrate at some point soon. Using machine learning to capture large ranges of data and classify said data, this technology is a no-brainer in a world that is becoming increasingly data dependent.
Meanwhile digital twins and their functionalities to project recorded data are a relatively untapped area prior to now. While not full-on holograms like many of us imagine when we hear the term digital twin, they are tied to already existing technology such as video game engines to grow their capabilities. These engines already model expansive and complex virtual worlds that utilize similar data collection but aim to apply this concept to a mechanical system or physical assets in a building.
These two technologies can be deployed in tandem by organizations in the future, with IoT and sensor tech recording data and collecting it on important areas or systems and digital twins making a model of these systems using said data. Climate change and emissions control is one area that could seek to benefit immensely from such an integration.
Trending Issues & Pain points
Customized dashboards, user experience, employee satisfaction, and tracking KPIs. All major blips on the radar of both facilities managers and upper management of an organization. Obviously, hybrid work and how to best outfit an office with the tools to support this is a priority across every industry that utilizes office space. From building a digital-friendly workplace to space management these issues continue to be a priority.
Another trend in facilities management that comes alongside these new technologies and changing norms is finding new metrics of data that will give your business information on specific areas. KPIs and metrics for hybrid offices or new emissions standards might be different than what was previously measured.
Climate change and molding our buildings and actions to be more green-friendly is everywhere, and the onus to keep a building and facilities in line with these initiatives falls on the facilities manager. You are going to see an increase in green-centric or climate friendly policies and technologies being rolled out in the coming years as we turn our attention to things such as buildings (responsible for 34% of emissions) to combat climate change.
The Office Overhaul
How you interact with the office is changing as we view it as a resource or any other workplace tool. No longer is it a destination meant to be the only place we work. Working from home meant we can work anywhere, any time.
Viewing the office as another tool means that it must be designed as and treated as such for employees to treat it as one. Changing a culture or how we do things means first changing the “why” surrounding a certain thing or place. We are at step 1 of this process.
Shorter leases as businesses are unsure of their long-term outlook for occupancy mean that offices should be designed with changing hands in mind. Seen as the future of businesses, flexible space these days are exactly what some businesses need. On-demand space that is built for a range of activities will likely become the norm for many who do not require their staff to clock a full week in the office due to hybrid work.
Support for these types of spaces with CPIP solutions for space, occupancy and building operations means more analytics than ever before and more data than ever before. While occupancy rates might be shifting there is no doubt that the need for these types of technology will increase regardless of if work is done remotely or in the office.
Industries change over time, innovation changing the culture or external forces forcing us to revisit how we do things. The focus of the IWMS/CPIP industry is shifting undoubtedly with our perception of the office & how we’re going to interact with our built environments.
Your space should be outfitted to work with you and your people and be able to support what you need out of a workplace. If your office feels like an upgrade is in order, maybe an IWMS is a good place to start.