In our previous blog we encouraged you to consider the question
“Do I have the right systems and technology to run my operations this year?”
So far so good, but what are some of the more disruptive technologies that Facilities Management companies need to be considering? Maybe considering is already too late...maybe implementing is the right word!
Let's take things one step at a time and consider four must-have technologies that you really need to be including in your planning.
If there was one thing that I’d suggest you focus on, this would be it. A huge amount of energy is spent 'fighting fires' in FM companies and dealing with on-the-day, reactive incidents. A good use of analytics can give a more predictive view of your organisation, helping you to avoid problems before they occur and enabling better decision-making in reactive situations.
Performance data on sites, assets and resources can all feed in to create rich and detailed view of where the operation is achieving its objectives, and where management attention needs to be directed. This can create a virtuous circle where better information, leads to better decisions and eventually better outcomes.
Innovative technology can feel a step too far when you are focused on the operational challenges of running your FM business. But some of the capabilities that seemed futuristic a few years ago are now being used and exploited in the real world, for genuine business benefit. In the medium term, the focus of this technology is likely to be around asset information and customer experience, enabling you to connect the different parts of your operation in new and value-generating ways. Imagine a world where asset performance data is automatically fed directly into your operational systems, highlighting a need for maintenance before the asset breaks and automatically scheduling an engineer visit (who already has the correct parts courtesy of the asset data). Human intervention is minor, resource is intelligently delegated and customers remain happy whilst SLAs are met. Too good to be true? Not anymore…
Having your systems and data in the Cloud is no longer seen as innovative, but some large organisations remain resistant to this approach, albeit due to understandable concerns about data sovereignty and security, as well as complications in moving to OPEX-funded software. The reason why I’ve included Cloud within this section of our FM technology map, is because it’s a fundamental aid to exploting the value of some of the other medium- and long-term innovations you may want to consider.
Internet of Things
IOT is now a reality that is leading to the development of intelligent buildings and smart devices that, together, can help organisations reduce costs, risk and improve the customer/user experience. Creating a connected, ‘smart’ building allows FM organisations to collect, analyse and act on data before assets have the opportunity to create a negative user impact. It sounds expensive, but it doesn’t have to be; the costs of implementation and hardware are reducing rapidly, as more organisations utilise the technology.
In the final part of this series we'll consider some of the medium term technologies that you need on your radar for the months ahead. Technologies that you need to start planning for, piloting or proving in your own business context.