The interplay of technology and integrated facility management

by May 19, 2022 0 comments

Organisations around the world are returning to a ‘work from office’ model. In this evolving setting, understanding and learning from the convergence of digital and physical work environments is changing the way in which the technology and facility management segments have been working together. New avenues for collaboration are uncovering valuable data and insights due to which companies are seeing a fusion of digital environments in place of the ones that were traditionally known. The data flowing through this combination of both physical and digital worlds puts hybrid facility and IT managers at the centre of a new network of strategic insights. Correspondingly, advances in technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and analytics have systematically enabled the world of digital information to see, understand, and influence the world of physical operations.

Technological integration through IT/OT convergence sensors and connected systems such as wireless sensor networks and actuators is increasingly being deployed across the management of industrial environments like water, power, and factories. The technologies that enable Industry 4.0 leverage existing data and a wide range of additional data sources, including data from connected assets, to achieve efficiencies at multiple levels, transform existing manufacturing processes, and create end-to-end information flows. Facility managers harness technological tools including IoT sensors or connect to IoT-enabled facility systems such as chillers, air handling units, panels, and generators to enable a seamless flow of operations for HVAC systems. Using facility management software and technologies, we can increase visibility across operations, improve team management, and greatly impact decision-making.

Facility managers need data to make well-versed decisions and manage facilities that promote employee retention. Managing facilities and infrastructure requires key information to ensure effective management and operations throughout the lifecycle of a building. Through cognitive IoT and the use of integrated workplace management systems, facility managers have access to an incredible amount of data about the building and its occupants, enabling them to take the necessary actions and decisions seamlessly. Interfacing with new and emerging technologies such as smart sensors, beacons, and meters, the technology integrated into facility management systems provides large amounts of real-time data to embolden operations and mitigate problems. A simple set of IoT sensors combined with AI can help facility managers receive necessary inputs and details about occupancy and usage rates, facility maintenance traffic patterns, environmental conditions, and countless other data points that can be used to streamline operations.

By connecting people, procedures, and policies on a comprehensive technology platform, we can put the most timely and critical information in the hands of decision makers when they need it. Owners of large, complex facilities such as hospitals, educational institutions, and airports are using the latest technologies and processes to simplify how stakeholders can directly access and use this information to transform their facilities. As these systems are developed and implemented, the IoT fabric will begin to evolve rapidly, and as remote operations continue to grow, organisations will seek to equip their workplaces with the latest technologies that are fully integrated into their structure and strategic goals. This allows employees to work efficiently while also improving decision-making as organizations, managers, and employees have access to real-time insights provided by converged data. Technology has substantially transformed the integrated facility management sector, with digitisation and sustainable solutions at the core, thereby empowering informed and data-driven decision-making to build greater business value.

Author: Sudhakar Murthy, Head of Specialist Services, Embassy Services Private Limited

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