IWFM Conference 2020: Insight sponsor EMCOR UK on… technology
11 February 2020
‘Ahead of the main event on Tuesday 24 March, IWFM Conference 2020’s Insight sponsor, EMCOR UK, will be sharing their expert views on the four megatrends we’ll be discussing on the day. This article covers the third Conference megatrend: technology.’
The pace of change in the facilities management (FM) world has not always been impressive. Perhaps a bit too much focus on status quo or applying twentieth century thinking to solve twenty-first century problems. Or we’ve been using out of date approaches to procurement which sacrifice innovation and user experiences in favour of cost saving.
The wave of Industry 4.0 is fast paced, changing the way goods are produced, services delivered, and companies organised. FMs must recognise that the future of work is not a distant entity; the future of work has begun. Companies must quickly wake up to the fact that services are converging with technology to create new and exciting pathways which at last are disrupting outdated thinking. If they don’t then someone else will, because it’s what workplace customers expect.
Today’s multi-generational workforces have grown up in an increasingly mobile and connected world, and they expect workplace experiences to be immersive, intuitive and imaginative. Seamless communication, productivity tools, smart working and team collaboration are the norms. Experience is now a big part of the talent attraction and retention equation. The conversation has moved way beyond a nice desk at work towards creating a blend of immersive experiences enabling people to feel engaged, empowered, and supported in their wellbeing.
Digital, smart and cognitive technology is totally redefining how the FM industry will provide services, value and maintain competitiveness. We’re already starting to see connectivity, the internet of things (IoT) and cloud services outcomes deliver greater efficiency, enhanced service, improved environmental performance and better user experience.
Networked sensors are increasingly being used for remote real-time asset monitoring. IoT solutions enable asset, environmental and performance tracking across facilities from mobile devices. Big Data supports the visualisation of energy savings and optimisation of building space.
The benefits are realised by a spectrum of stakeholders. For FM providers it includes data analytics for decision making, smarter job scheduling and environmental wellbeing. For building occupants it’s navigation tools, nutrition apps, room booking, personalised climate control and employee engagement. And for leaders it’s about creating sustainable business models where employees are motivated, happier and perform at their best.
Machine learning, augmented reality, digital twin and artificial intelligence (AI) are key technologies that are having a huge impact on facilities management and how assets are maintained. Together, along with cloud hosted data analytics services, they will transform the role of FM, the user experience and total life cycle expenditure of buildings; not to mention achieving the global net zero carbon goal. AI excels at spotting patterns in big data sets essential for workplace. AI can be used to create predictive models that forecast an asset’s performance and energy usage over time. Calculating an expected asset failure in the next month, forecasting its condition in three years or optimising energy consumption is now possible with a high degree of accuracy.
Implementing these new technologies is heralding the dawn of a new era: the fully holistic and predictable automated workplace that’s both intelligent and adaptive; optimised dynamic FM and asset management balancing the requirement of cost, performance, productivity and business risk.
The digital transformation isn’t going to slow down. If anything, it’ll accelerate. FM companies must engage now, put technology at the front end of their customer proposition, and build the skills, partnerships and strategies to stay relevant to their customers.
This thought leadership piece is brought to you by Insight sponsor EMCOR UK and their partners, Frost & Sullivan, in support of IWFM Conference 2020.
IWFM Conference 2020 takes place 24 March 2020 at etc.venues St Paul’s – 200 Aldersgate, London EC1A 4HD.