7 Impact Drivers Driving Todays Commercial Real Estate, Buildings and Facilities
I recently participated in a leadership discussion for corporate real estate executives and building owners and operators. As part of my talk, I discussed 7 Impact Drivers that are driving today’s commercial real estate, buildings and facilities. Here are excerpts from this discussion.
Digital transformation is continuing to change and reshape our business world. Just as the industrial revolution revolutionized entire sectors of the economy, so is digital transformation. It is changing the landscape in which buildings operate today and will continue to do so.
In the building and commercial real estate environment digital transformation is aggregating OT and IT practices into a common platform of people, processes, best practices, and services specifically designed to deliver critical business and operational needs and priorities in a cost-effective and timely manner.
Digital transformation for the building and facilities environment is driven by edge devices that are smarter; more powerful, the Cloud, analytics and data enlightenment.
Digital transformation is contributing to a significant shift in the way we connect and access information, make decisions, manage and operate buildings. It is enabling us to expand our reach to a range of equipment and devices in a variety of new applications and redistribute and process data at the edge, in the Fog, in a lake and in a Cloud.
By blending traditional building operational assets, services, and interactions and unlocking new digital technologies, business models, and relationships, digital transformation isredefining market structures and stakeholder relationships. This rapidly unfolding landscape requires new strategies and approaches to both current and emerging realities.
IoT is on the frontline of our buildings and adding value to our traditional building systems. IoT is contributing to the significant shift in the way we are acquiring information, interacting with each other, and making decisions. It is enabling us to expand our reach to a range of equipment and devices that sit on the edge; enabling us to gather and analyze data and react to that data in a variety of applications that we’ve never seen before.
Realizing its potential starts with understanding the value it can bring. As IoT continues to evolve and the journey continues, IoT is not about being a revolution in technology, but rather an evolution in technology. It’s not just about connectivity or the number of devices but rather it’s about delivering real and relevant outcomes.
IoT is changing business models, business capabilities and changing behaviors. When it comes to changes in behavior, for me, there are three that stand out; a change in behavior because of the edge; behavioral changes towards how we interact with data and behavioral changes as it relates to expectations.
The Internet of Things is allowing us to make devices that are smarter, more powerful, offer higher levels of functionality and increased storage capabilities that has moved us from connected devices to connected intelligence.
One of the challenges for IoT is how these different types of data can be brought together to add value in new ways. It's a challenge that involves data integration as well as data storage, data processing and, indeed, data security. The Edge is one of the technologies that I believe plays a more significant role in handling the changing nature of data in the IoT era.
Today we are able to go further out to the edge with devices that are smarter; more powerful; have more capacity; offer higher levels of data processing and increased storage capabilities.
We have access to multiple places where data can be collected, processed, stored and analyzed because of the formidable computer power and affordability that is now available; the capacity and storage capabilities that can be embedded into a device; real-time and faster analytic time requirements; analytic software companies “scaling down” their applications and developing new tools for edge computing; the reduction on the amount of data that needs to be exchanged with the Cloud and technology that brings computing resources and applications closer to the edge. Companies are looking to do at least some data processing at the edge in order to reduce network and data center saturation.
As we continue our path towards greater deployment and expansion of BIoT systems, standardization and open communication are becoming commonplace. In addition, BIoT infrastructure such as edge based processing and cloud based storage along with data transfer, are keeping pace with applications that demand greater connectivity.
With lower costs and enough computer, storage and networking resources now accessible at the edge to support on device consumption of data and the availability of edge specific analytic applications and tools, we can expect more data activity to move to the edge and become embedded in the same devices so we can get more from device-generated data and analytics.
Data - The New Utility
For data, it has changed the way companies in every industry does business and manages their business.
When it comes to data in our buildings and facilities, we are in an era where data technologies and analytics enable us to capture data from different sources; make it consistent and meaningful and use it across multiple applications.
Today’s access and exchange of data is empowering us to take advantage of it----- from everywhere and from any device. With data, we are further extending the delivery of lowering operating costs, driving better performance (both operationally and financially),driving the conservation of energy and creating better occupant experiences.
While data is technically available, the challenge lies in working with it across multiple applications, managing it and getting useful information out of it especially as data sets come with various formats, different naming conventions.
AoT - Analytics of Things
Connected devices generate a lot of data, and that data has to be analyzed to be useful. The primary virtue of AoT is that you can aggregate data from multiple devices and make comparisons across time and users that can lead to better decisions.
When it comes to AoT, we are talking about the kind of analytics that involve more advanced algorithms and data access and exchange that now come from everywhere and from disparate sources. These advanced algorithms get down to the granular level and prescribe decisions and performance based on changing conditions and the interplay between all the connected systems and devices.
Building owners, operators and commercial real estate executives are on a challenging journey to build and fulfill a strategy for using data and analytics capabilities as a key component in operating and managing their facilities. They need to shift the organizational mindset from regarding data and analytics as a set of disparate applications and datasets to viewing it as a strategic layer of their operations. And they need to prepare the organization for facility information management, and analytics for business value.
With the right analytics we turn big data can into smart data which in turn, can be turned into insight which then can be turned into action.
Multitude of Applications
Successful applications plays require more than “being on the Internet” or simply adding connectivity to a product and charging for service. Developing applications offerings requires value proposition(s) and design thinking from the beginning.
For applications to continue to advance, product makers must accept the need for interoperability to take dominance over being proprietary. The larger promise and greater value is delivered from interoperability, integration and intelligence within a secured environment. Applications today are about delivering business relevant outcomes, not just connectivity. There is a very clear link between the value delivered and the capabilities application that make up an intelligent building solution.
As applications continue to evolve, it’s not about the hip and hype, but rather the real and relevant.
I would be remised if I did not mention cyber security. I believe this is the most important impact affecting us today. The negative consequences that cyber incidents can cause are disruptive and potentially catastrophic. The value of taking additional measures and procedures to increase the cyber security posture of your systems, far outweigh the risk of not making them secure.” Cyber security should no longer be thought of as a “nice to have”. The operational, financial and reputational impact to a business is tremendous. Security must be considered a fundamental requirement for the building operational infrastructure and systems.