The Future of Facilities Management and Technology

Technological developments are growing at an unprecedented rate and shaping the future of Facilities Management. These technology developments provide software solutions that ensure healthy building and infrastructure operations in addition to reducing costs, improving productivity, and boosting sustainability. Technology is changing the way building management, and design approaches facilities management. New technologies save building and construction managers time, money, and resources when used effectively. In the end, these technological solutions save time and deliver a better experience for occupants. What trends will shape the future of the facilities management world?

Smart Infrastructure / The Internet of Things & Facility Management

Many businesses are now paperless as tablets and smartphones make it easier for facility managers to stay updated with work orders and facility records. The year 2020 will end with many mobile devices connected to the Internet topping somewhere around 50 billion worldwide. The rise of this type of data technology will enable facility managers to leave their desk and monitor many locations from a single location. This smart technology will allow an exchange of data between physical devices connected to the Internet and enable facility managers to reduce operation and maintenance costs because of its ability to collect and analyze previously unattainable data. It will allow facilities managers to monitor temperature and humidity changes in buildings. Sensors on substantial mechanical assets can  alert facility teams of failure or performance changes in equipment. Automating building management has apparent benefits for reducing maintenance and building operation costs after an incident happens. So facilities managers must look to smart devices in the future as a way to improve facility maintenance management.

The transition from paper to using a smart device to access information creates a more efficient digital workflow. Work orders, facility locations, and maintenance updates are easily located, shared, and updated when information is digital. Using a smart device reduces downtime, playing phone tag with technicians and commuting from one site to the next to monitor repairs.

Artificial Intelligence and Facility Management

Artificial intelligence (AI) allows facility managers to use data-driven building operations to save time when managing a building and helps them deliver better outcomes for occupants. AI can compare actual energy consumption to track energy savings. By understanding the performance of subsystems, like HVAC, AI can provide cost savings by pre-cooling a building in the early mornings based on usage and historical occupancy data, all without human intervention. Using predictive analysis, AI can help facility managers plan upcoming maintenance, help lessen unforeseen equipment outages, anticipate budget needs, and keep occupants comfortable at the same time. AI can help predict cleaning demands and even generate a schedule for service providers. This data-driven approach to traditional service is especially fascinating for real estate because providing space to tenants remains at the core of the industry.

Moreover, AI can optimize supply by automatically anticipating the need for materials and products and ordering them for office spaces, based on actual and predicted occupancy trends. AI is likely to be a more significant part of the operation and occupancy of buildings. Facility managers should become more knowledgeable of the capabilities that AI can deliver while also considering how AI technology can help with specific issues in their buildings.

Drone Technology In Facility Management

Drone technology will significantly improve the efficiency of tasks and shorten the time of completion because functions such as manual surveying, inspection and mapping can be completed much faster. Drone technology helps facility managers transform the way they view their buildings, assets, and grounds. A benefit of drone technology is that it removes people from risky activities, such as operating at tall heights or near sources of power or heat. Instead of wasting time and money to put up scaffolding, a drone can perform a roof inspection without personal risk. Drone technology provides a unique vantage point for building managers to inspect their facilities. The theory of drone technology being used for facilities management is based on a drone's ability to scan hard to reach places, so there is a need for it to integrate with facility service inspections, safety, and security, as well as traffic management.

Drone technology is quickly advancing, becoming more effective and less costly. Drones bring an unprecedented opportunity for enhanced efficiency in facilities management and symbolize a hopeful future for facility managers who choose to use drones to perform risky building assessments.

Facility Management Software

Facility management software tracks, helps manage and maintain commercial facilities. Automating these processes allows facility managers to see data in real-time and make updates on-site, which leads to accurate data. Also, it will enable tenants of commercial buildings or occupants of rental properties to submit service requests and pay fees or rents. The future of facility manager software must be a user-friendly, cloud-based solution, and customizable to the facilities needs. Employees must be able to create work orders, schedule maintenance, manage and track spare parts, and standardize data to gain inventory visibility. Further, facility managers need to be able to analyze trends, make data-driven decisions, and streamline maintenance operations.  

The future of facility management software will require it to be flexible and allow for a secured collaborative platform enabling businesses to accommodate a growing workforce and across several geographical locations. Less paper documentation means all data is integrated within one secured central server and allows for access across every site the facility manager needs, and by every employee who needs access.  

Whether it's a smart infrastructure or artificial intelligence, technology benefits every business industry. Every year, new additions to technology help to simplify business operations and optimize resources with the promise of enhancing productivity. These technological trends in facility management will be exciting to see and promise an improved user experience, data integration, improve data-driven decision making, and flexible and secure collaboration. When it comes to improvements around production, quality, safety, and longevity, digital transformation and technology are unfolding at an unprecedented rate. These future new developments and advancements in technology will leverage the latest technology, empower facility managers to make quick facility management decisions, and change the facility management industry.


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