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    How the Internet of Things Can Help Facilities Leaders

    Elizabeth Dukes

    According to Gartner, there were about 6.4 billion connected “things” in 2016—a 30 percent increase from 2015. That equates to about 5.5 million new “things” being connected every single day. And by 2020, we will reach 20.8 billion.

    This is a huge deal—one that impacts every business, employee and frankly, every person in the connected modern world. But there’s one profession in particular that the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing: facilities management (FM).

    The life of a facilities leader hinges on data. To be successful, these leaders must capture, organize, analyze and translate data into action, often on a moment’s notice. Fortunately, technologies like integrated workplace management software (IWMS) and the IoT are empowering facilities leaders to rise to the occasion.

    Work Smarter, Not Harder

    Your facilities team spends a lot of time performing routine maintenance, responding to service requests, assessing issues and making repairs. While these mission-critical tasks have become more efficient with help from workplace technology, it’s still time-consuming and costly.

    Connecting smart sensors and sub-systems The IoT brings with it an enterprise of automated equipment, building systems and smart sensors that communicate with one another and pull all disparate sub-systems (including lighting, security, HVAC, elevators, etc.) into one database. This means facilities leaders can move beyond automation and into the realm of connectivity, with real-time input from building systems, machines, people, assets and more. The data accrued by IoT technology can then be shared with an IWMS, enabling facilities leaders to make accurate, on-the-spot decisions, particularly when data is collected over time.

    Moreover, FM teams can identify maintenance issues before they occur. IoT-capable equipment reports data about performance levels, maintenance needs, certification requirements and more. If a system is experiencing (or on the verge of experiencing) an issue, facilities leaders are notified and can respond quickly.

    Reach True Spatial Potential

    Organizations are constantly looking for ways to lean down and become more competitive. Three of the largest contributors to overhead include space utilization, operating costs and staffing levels.

    IoT sensors help facilities leaders track how employees are occupying their work environment and consuming resources and assets. By incorporating this data into space management software, facilities leaders can easily review occupancy and traffic trends over time to identify and eliminate wasted space. They can also better allocate resources and prepare space for occupants in terms of Using sensors to better allocate resources like lighting and climate controlequipment, lighting, climate control and more.

    Optimize Your Processes

    Your organization depends on the efficiency of its processes.

    The ultimate advantage of the IoT for FM is that since leaders gain such detailed oversight and foresight, they can constantly improve operations and adapt to changes the moment they occur. They have access to both real-time data and data accrued over time, allowing them to spot trends, identify bottlenecks, eliminate time waste, trim budgets and more. All of this information exists in one centralized data hub, making it easy to draw conclusions based on fact instead of assumption or gut instinct.

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    A facility equipped with IoT technology and IWMS solutions is at the height of efficiency. Space, assets and resources are exacted to meet budget and business objectives, and every action is supported by hard data. Plus, as workplace demands or conditions change, facilities leaders can make adjustments without disrupting the balance of systems and processes on which the organization depends.

    Wondering if your organization needs an IWMS? Download our free eBook, Your Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Facilities Management Software Needs, and learn how an IWMS could help your enterprise.

    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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