Schneider Electric Study Shows Facility Managers’ Interest to Adopt Digital Technologies

According to a study commissioned by Schneider Electric, facility managers are looking to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) by implementing digital technologies like intelligent analytics to improve maintenance decisions and operations, with 89 percent of respondents indicating they expect to achieve a return on their IoT investments within three years. Seventy percent of respondents expect the IoT will impact their building and maintenance policies within the next year, which corresponds with the ability to measure success through the use of digital technologies. 
“To make the most of building systems, facility managers are making a shift toward predictive thinking and taking proactive approaches to maintenance that enhance both operations and energy efficiency,” says Brian Ratcliff, U.S. EcoBuildings services director, Schneider Electric. “As the adoption of analytics and IoT becomes more regular, the use of digital technologies for predictive building maintenance will continue to expand, with increasing ROI through the coming years.”
While the study found that more than 90 percent of respondents thought connecting systems to the internet will ensure profitable operations and allow service providers to deliver better value and maximize energy and sustainability, facility managers are still split between taking a proactive versus reactive approach to building maintenance. Only 15 percent of respondents reported that they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools and only 35 percent indicated they are proactive in their approach to maintaining building systems by conducting regular preventative maintenance on equipment. The other half of facility managers categorize themselves as reactive.
The interest in new technologies and the connected services market is on the rise, with 42 percent of respondents expressing they are very interested in utilizing an analytics managed service to gain insight into their buildings and plan more effectively. However most facility managers are not maximizing the potential of these technologies, with only 32 percent of respondents stating they currently have analytics solutions in place. One third of those that say they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools have adopted analytics. By contrast, only 17 percent that say they are largely reactive currently have analytics in place, indicating there is a gap between proactive and reactive maintenance operations.
Although facilities managers are eager to utilize new technologies, barriers to achieving building maintenance goals still exist. Almost half (43 percent) of respondents stated the level of investment required is the biggest challenge they face in the adoption of digital solutions within their buildings. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) indicated the lack of internal resources available to interpret the data into actionable results was a barrier, while 18 percent believe their buildings are not suited to the adoption of connected technologies and 14 percent indicated there was a lack of proof around ROI.
To learn more about the study, you can review a summary of the results here. For additional information on Schneider Electric’s building efficiency solutions, visit this site.
This survey was conducted by Morar Consulting among 300 U.S. facility directors and managers, as well as operations, maintenance and energy personnel. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.

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