Maureen Ehrenberg 2018-01-25 04:35:12
EXPLORING NEW RESEARCH FROM IFMA AND JLL In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed nearly every facet of our lives. If you use a fitness tracker, a digital “learning” thermostat or a smartphone map application, you personally benefit from the IoT every day. Through embedded devices that send and receive data by way of the Internet from objects (or things) that we use regularly, the IoT creates real-time interconnectivity and the ability to automate. You may have already put the IoT to work in the facilities you manage, in the form of a smart lighting system, remote-controlled HVAC, digital security or a more interconnected building environment that responds and interacts with building occupants or facility employees. Some experts estimate that as many as 1 trillion building sensors will be in place by 2025, or about 120 per every living person. For facility management professionals, the insights made available by the IoT could help make our buildings more efficient, sustainable and responsive to the needs of the people who live and work in them. In addition, the data we retrieve from the embedded devices can make the environments we create better, smarter, and more responsive and predictive. The property information we collect is valuable for budgeting, planning, forecasting, and new productivity and cost savings initiatives. So, having a strategy for collecting, storing and using data is an important part of IoT activation, planning and operations. IFMA’S IOT RESEARCH To understand what the IoT means for the FM profession, IFMA and JLL undertook a global research survey with 700 IFMA members, focus groups and interviews with the industry’s leading subject matter experts. The resulting white paper, available on the IFMA website, reveals where our industry stands with regard to IoT adoption. Overall, survey respondents identified an improved end-user experience as an important driver for IoT adoption, second only to improving building operations. More than 60 percent of IFMA members are somewhat or extremely knowledgeable about IoT, with nearly 70 percent saying your organizations are already using the IoT in some way. To continue the discussion, IFMA has launched an IoT portal where FM professionals can interact to pool knowledge and best practices, and engage with other interested individuals and organizations relating to the IoT. IFMA also has created a dedicated task force to explore how FM professionals can exploit the vast potential of billions of interconnected physical things, each generating millions of data points. More than 60 percent of IFMA members are somewhat or extremely knowledgeable about IoT. THE HUMAN POTENTIAL The global IoT survey reveals that FM professionals are most aware of the potential of the IoT as it relates to building automation, energy management, maintenance, security and physical access and safety. Until recently, that’s what most of the IoT conversation was about, at least with regard to buildings. However, the IFMA survey reveals growing awareness of how the IoT also can improve the human experience in the workplace — an impact that goes far beyond saving energy or the reduced maintenance costs that come from IoT-driven continuous commissioning. And, the IoT has much to offer the human experience. As described by John Smart, a Smarter Buildings Strategist at IBM and one of our research interview subjects, “The IoT opens up a whole new world for cognitive workplace design, where building and workplace systems can anticipate an individual’s needs or desires and adjust accordingly.” Exploiting IoT capabilities means expanding your focus beyond buildings and assets to encompass the people inside. We need to think big when it comes to the human experience: how can we leverage IoT solutions to help our end-users feel engaged, empowered and fulfilled at work, and, ultimately, happier and more productive? New IoT technologies have created access to vast amounts of real-time data that connected devices generate. With the application of analytics, you can use this data to make workplace decisions. Data from an intelligent lighting system, for example, can show how many, how often and how long employees are using a particular work area, providing valuable insights for space planning and workplace strategy. PUTTING IOT TO WORK What the IoT will look like in your workplaces and properties depends on the business objectives of your organization and how you can help advance them. It also depends on the kinds of productivity obstacles, or “friction,” that you hear about from the people in your workplace. For example, parking generates many complaints in some workplaces. Today’s “smart” IoT-based parking technologies make it possible to use a single mobile app to enter a parking lot or garage with a digital pass, locate a convenient spot and pay. Another source of friction is the search for a workspace in offices that don’t have assigned desks. According to research firm CEB global, a typical employee spends 27 hours per year looking for a workspace. However, it’s possible to create a mobile app that enables employees to book a conference room or a workspace for an hour or a day. Similarly, an employee could use a mobile app to adjust the temperature or lighting around their workspace — to whatever level enables them to be most productive — or to request a workplace service. Then, you can analyze data generated from the mobile apps to uncover additional ways to improve the workplace experience. The IoT also can power workplace tools and amenities. Digital signage, wayfinding tools, wireless audio-visual systems and other connected devices can go a long way toward creating a more engaging and empowering experience for employees. Even something as simple as a printer that orders its own toner or ink refills can make an office more productive and less frustrating. As the IFMA global survey found, adoption of the IoT will create opportunities for you to learn how to exploit new IoT tools and technologies to benefit your end-users. Eighty-five percent of survey participants agree that the IoT will influence the skills required of CRE and FM professionals in the future. The big picture? The IoT is accelerating the evolution of the FM function and its strategic significance to an organization’s core business and brand. The more you can learn about its application in your workplaces, the more ready you will be to lead trans formative improvement in your organization. GETTING STARTED Your IoT journey doesn’t have to be comprehensive or high-risk. Instead, take incremental steps toward adopting the right IoT solutions for your organization. Let your business objectives guide your IoT technology roadmap What is the business case for IoT in your facilities? It’s easy to get hung up on the technology and focus on getting the best systems in place instead of focusing on what makes sense for your environment. Keep your organizational goals up front and center. Think big, but don’t be afraid to start small Balance short-term goals and strategies with long-term objectives. Think targeted pilots, rapid iterations and test-and-learn cycles to refine ideas and work out the bugs before investing in large-scale deployment. Collaborate with your IT peers about how to best set yourself up for potential IoT expansion opportunities down the line. Invest in talent and skills The lack of capabilities and talent with the right training continues to hold back IoT deployment. Not everyone on your team needs to be a coding ninja, but everybody will need to understand at a high level how IoT-based systems work, how to interpret the data, and how to talk to the tech experts so they can address your business needs. Be smart about security Don’t let security concerns deter you from pursuing IoT solutions altogether. However, your team will need to learn and apply best practices in data governance. FM should work with IT and security experts to protect all building systems — and then trust the professionals and get on with IoT implementation. Partner closely across your organization IoT applications cut across many functions — including IT, HR and finance — and implementation requires close collaboration with IT. Don’t underestimate the degree of change management and ongoing investment involved in adopting IoT For changes with significant impact, you’ll need proven change-management approaches to build support, ensure that everybody has the capabilities and tools they need, and demonstrate that top management is on board. You’ll also need a strategy for continual improvement. Can you leverage employee feedback and the IoT’s data-collection and analysis capabilities to fine-tune your approach? Start thinking creatively about experience How can building and workplace technologies help create a more positive, productive, happy work environment for the people in your facilities? FM professionals are in a unique position to help organizations use IoT technology to foster high-touch, dynamic workplaces. FMs also need to start thinking creatively about how to measure and quantify the impact of experience — Experience Level Agreements, anyone? Tap your IFMA Resources Visit IFMA’s new Engage platform and its new IoT portal to learn more about how the IoT can transform your FM practices. RESOURCES 1) IFMA-JLL white paper 2) IFMA Engage https://engage.ifma.org 3) JLL white paper: Reinventing Facilities Management for the Digital World 4) JLL video: The Future of Work is Now Maureen Ehrenberg, FRICS, CRE, is President of Global Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) at JLL and is the Immediate Past Chair of IFMA’s Global Board of Directors.
Published by International Facility Management Association . View All Articles.
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