Pandemic Brought Increased Demand for Facilities Upgrades

Covid-19 changed many of our shopping lists and we saw demand for things such as at-home gym equipment and home office supplies skyrocket. On the corporate side, businesses experienced a similar shift in demand – but for facilities management and related technologies. 

With reopening plans rolling out across the corporate world and a predictable increase in demand for attention to hygiene practices, technology solutions to staff shortages. AI is set to fill this gap as shortages in staff, cuts to staffing and overall shifts in practices are leaving businesses and organizations both public and private, scrambling for solutions. 

Hospitals, retail, corporate real estate now all share a need for technology to bridge the gap in capabilities and demand for services they need. The market for facilities management is expected to grow  

With digital solutions becoming the norm over the pandemic from ecommerce to meetings, the natural progression is turning to software that can track and automate security, HVAC, lighting, and access in lieu of facilities management staff doing so manually.  

Market research

With retail and healthcare sectors wanting to keep their patients and customers safe, government offices and corporate real estate are among one of the sectors seeking facilities management assistance from technology and AI.  

This means either an overhaul or integration to existing systems that are already in place in the hundreds of office buildings and corporate campuses across North America. 

With return to office plans ramping up this will only drive demand higher as businesses decide what necessary changes are to be made and how to best accommodate their employees’ needs. Some predictions for the IWMS & facilities management markets are calling for significant growth over the coming 5 years with a focus on automation and AI. 

Embracing AI Capabilities 

What we often see impeding the forward movement of technology is a reluctance to embrace change and what recent technology can mean in terms of improving operations. This can be for any number of reasons – embracing what technology can bring to the table in situations like we are seeing now in post-pandemic workplaces both corporate and elsewhere.  

Embracing facilities management and automation technology can bring quality of life and efficiency improvements with streamlined processes such as monitoring HVAC and ventilation, room booking and occupancy rates. Along with data storage and informatics via cloud computing that can be used by decision makers in evaluating how their facilities are running at the touch of a button, rather than having to sift through clipboards and logbooks. 

Other Emerging Technology

Facilities management benefits from several technologies that are emerging as key pieces in the move to automated systems in built environments. Notably so – digital twins offer unique capabilities as to how operations in facilities management are conducted by constructing a digital version of a built asset such as a building and its facilities.  

Using this becomes more accurate in data collection if there are more layers to the sensors and twins used. Companies such as Autodesk have become recognized leaders in this space with their digital twin and modelling technology that seamlessly integrates with IWMS and facilities management. 

Creating a digital version of a building, facilities, and all – that tracks maintenance, outputs, and energy use can be the missing puzzle piece for businesses to take control of their built environment and optimize it for their business and staff.