According to a study commissioned by Schneider Electric, facility managers are increasingly adapting their building maintenance strategies in response to the Internet of Things (IoT), with 60 percent of professionals predicting that IoT will impact their building and maintenance policies within the next year. Sixty-five percent of respondents are also planning to increase investment in building capital expenses in 2016, including advanced building technologies that manage and glean insights from new data sets.
While respondents indicated that IoT is taking hold within their business, challenges exist to taking full advantage of building data. Seventy percent of facility managers report that their building management staff is very or extremely skilled in data analysis, but only 27 percent utilize data driven analytics solutions in relation to building management according to the study. Key barriers to uptake include the level of investment required (39 percent reporting as a top concern) and the lack of internal resources available to interpret data into actionable results (31 percent reporting as a top concern).
Another factor impacting the shift toward new building technologies is that only 26 percent of facility managers feel that available building information is totally adequate for facility maintenance planning. A majority of respondents cited room for improvement in this area, and only 15 percent reported they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools to proactively assess and target equipment maintenance.
“The explosive growth of data, information and devices in today’s enterprises is dramatically impacting expectations of buildings and our relationships with them. Facility professionals need to be able to better visualize what’s happening across their footprint and make educated decisions to correct and improve conditions,” says Brett Wheless, director of Field Services, Schneider Electric. “More than half of facility managers are still largely reactive when it comes to maintaining building systems, which can have major impacts on occupant comfort and can decrease the life of the building. We are now seeing a change in attitude among facility professionals that is driving them to think differently about the way they collect and assimilate building data—it’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry.”
Wheless adds: “We’re seeing that facility managers are more prepared than ever before to invest in advanced building technologies as interest levels are high and operational budgets are increasing. Tremendous opportunities exist to gain value from critical building data—including connected services such as remote analytics—which sets facility managers up for success in optimizing their buildings to run at the highest levels of efficiency.”
This survey was conducted by Opinionography in January 2016 among 400 U.S. facility leaders in establishments including data centers, commercial and industrial buildings, retail, health care, education, government and other building environments. Respondents have responsibility related to purchasing energy and technology solutions, and their biggest responsibilities included facility management and operations management. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.