FAQ - How the Internet of Things is enhancing the workplace
This FAQ answers five questions for corporate real estate and facility managers who want to embrace the benefits of internet-connected assets.
IoT is probably one of the most discussed phenomena these days. But what is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)? Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, defines it this way:
“The Internet of things is the network of dedicated physical objects (things) that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment. The IoT comprises an ecosystem that includes things, communications, applications and data analysis.”
With the introduction of meters, sensors, building systems and devices that measure actual behaviour and can communicate and interact with other systems, IoT has a wide applicability within building and service operations. Analysts estimate that 50% of human control functions will disappear in the next five years. Real Estate and Facility Management will therefore face drastic changes in operating models and processes.
What you need to know about IoT for building and services operations
Now that familiar operational technologies are becoming internet-connected, these assets can deliver increased and more detailed information to create new business insight and intelligence. Data collected by these meters, sensors, building systems and other connected devices provide real-time guidance for the decision-making process, and create ‘Smart Buildings’. This data also provides unprecedented insight into the workplace, helping to better understand how to truly measure and improve employee satisfaction and productivity.
For Real Estate and Facilities Management there are five potential areas of application for IoT technologies:
- Experience of the users; e.g. Users will no longer have to reactively ask for things to be fixed, nor experience the disappointment of failing facilities.
- Climate parameter sensing; e.g.Automatically adjust building systems to meet the needs of individual occupants within the space to create a healthy working environment based on readings from air quality sensors.
- Consumption/connected metering; e.g. Insight into when and where possible waste takes place, to improve these activities.
- Condition/electrical and mechanical parameter sensing; e.g. Monitor parameters of actual behaviour of many types of assets by measuring vibration, temperature, pressure, sound, production hours and so on. This way you can implement just-in-time operations for maintenance.
- Demand/desk and space occupancy sensors; e.g. Detect true use states, not only to provide availability data to users but also to track actual use of facilities, detect and manage no-shows and analyse occupational patterns of workspaces and meeting rooms.
Here are just a few examples of how the Internet of Things can be used to create Smart Buildings. There are hundreds of ways to implement IoT in your office or building.
- Improve meeting room occupancy using sensor technology
- Create a healthier workplace with air quality sensors
- Increase building performance by using sensors to predict asset failures
- Reduce cleaning costs by measuring user behaviour
- Improve customer satisfaction through feedback buttons
- Gain insight into real-time space occupancy using desk sensors
- Enhance customer experience with digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, for making FM requests (link to new blog post once it goes live)
- Improve the employee experience with smart lighting or preferred temperatures (link to new blog post once it goes live)
- Improve data quality with automated data collection by using sensors for energy meters, mouse traps, or other devices
- Optimise parking space and enhance your guests’ parking experience using parking sensors
Building IoT and Integrated Workplace Management System
Unlocking new business value from the Internet of Things goes beyond connecting devices. It’s about gaining new (big) data-driven insights and driving actions from IoT data, enabling your business to deliver innovative services and make better decisions. Building IoT is mainly about enabling behaviour and not so much about technology. To keep building data from becoming overloaded, massive data acquisition and interaction must be actionable. IWMS systems have created a link between building IoT components and management reporting tools within the IWMS platform. IWMS abstracts and analyses the massive building of IoT data to drive automated processes and analytics.