4 Technologies Impacting Modern Facilities Management
At one point, computer-aided design (CAD) software and geographic information system (GIS) were revolutionary tools for facilities managers. And while CAD and GIS solutions are certainly still critical for successful facilities management (FM), the technology facilities managers now have at their fingertips seems light years away from its predecessors.
Here are four cutting edge technologies impacting the world of modern facilities management.
1. Building Information Modeling (BIM) TechnologyWhat Is It?
Building information modeling (BIM) is the process of creating and managing digital models of physical buildings. BIM technology enables organizations to visualize specific components of a space, including structural elements like walls and windows as well as the locations of assets.How Has It Impacted Facilities Management?
Originally developed to assist architects and contractors in the design and construction of new buildings, the applications of BIM have evolved to include the improvement of maintenance plans and space management strategies. BIM helps facilities managers make data-driven decisions about space utilization, energy consumption and redesigns.
2. Machine Learning and Artificial IntelligenceWhat Is It?
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that enables building systems to automatically collect and analyze data in order to predict outcomes from experience without being explicitly programmedHow Has It Impacted Facilities Management?
Machine learning allows facilities managers to implement intelligent asset maintenance, a proactive approach to maintenance that is based on the actual utilization of the asset. Machine learning helps prevent unexpected equipment breakdowns through the dispatch of automatic updates to facilities managers when the system detects a potential issue.
3. Smart Building TechnologyWhat Is It?
A smart building is a structure that uses automated processes and technology such as devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) automatically control a facility’s operations, including heating, air conditioning, lighting and security. Smart building technology is also used to monitor environmental factors such as temperature and humidity as well as asset performance.How Has It Impacted Facilities Management?
Smart building technologies are always collecting data about the workplace and the workforce. And when these technologies are connected to an integrated workplace management system (IWMS), all of that data is consolidated into a single platform that facilities managers can easily access and use to identify opportunities to improve how the facility is run.
4. Wearable TechnologyWhat Is It?
The definition of wearable technology is pretty straightforward: it’s a category of technology worn on the body. The most ubiquitous examples are Fitbit and smartwatches.How Has It Impacted Facilities Management?
Similar to a smart badging system, wearable technology helps facilities managers improve the security of personnel and data by restricting access to a building or parts of a building to only certain individuals. Wearables also enable facilities managers to collect data about employee work patterns, space occupancy and resource utilization.
As with any technology, you should never install hardware or software simply because it’s the next big thing. Always consider what makes the most sense for your organization and its needs. There’s no use investing in technology that won’t actually benefit your company.
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