Jocelyn Kerr 2017-11-20 21:33:19
As 2017 comes to a close, automation and the integration of the Internet of Things, or IoT, is on the rise in facilities around the world. The World Economic Forum calls this digital shift “the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” The organization’s most recent Future of Jobs Report, released in 2016, surveyed senior executives globally to uncover the workforce and economic implications of this revolution through 2020. Chief among their findings? The number one demographic and socio-economic driver of change, according to 44 percent of respondents, is changing work environments and flexible working arrangements to accommodate a changing workforce. This includes the need for new technologies to support remote working, teleconferencing and the creation of flexible co-working spaces. For facility managers, this shift is already being felt in terms of technology needs, changing workspaces and a drive toward fostering high productivity while keeping costs down. The main driver of change on the technology side, according to 34 percent of respondents, is a shift toward mobile internet applications and cloud technology. The organization found private and public sector organizations are already shifting to software solutions that require no local servers, and in some cases, no on-site IT teams. Advances in Big Data and IoT will continue to drive change beyond 2020, as more buildings and equipment are outfitted with data-collecting sensors and historical data is used to manage predictive maintenance and add other efficiencies. In this issue, we look at some of these technologies and how they affect FMs and the industry. Agile Architecture (page 68), offers a glimpse at how Big Data and IoT improve efficiencies for property managers. Automate to Info-mate (page 52) explains how to turn automation into intelligence that helps make informed business decisions. And Blockchain (page 78) breaks down how new protocols can be safer than traditional data transactions. When thinking about technology and the future, there’s another factor to consider: Who will manage this digital workflow? The State of American Jobs, a 2016 Pew Center Research Survey, found a full 54 percent of adults in the workforce believe they need additional training to keep pace with the rapid change of the modern workplace. Among college graduates, 63 percent say they need additional certification or job training to advance in their careers. This is where professional associations such as IFMA step in with certification and professional development programs to help career professionals. What is FM? (page 62) we profile an initiative by the IFMA Foundation to help introduce young people to career opportunities in FM. Join the conversation at engage.ifma.org to discuss this and other topics affecting the future of FM. As always, feel free to reach out with your comments and feedback.
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