What is IoT? How has it changed modern Facility Management

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What is IoT? How has it changed Modern Facility Management


The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing data. With the use of wired or wireless networks often using the same IP (Internet Protocol), it is possible to turn anything, from something as small as a pill to something as big as an aeroplane, into a part of the IoT. 


Connecting up all these different objects makes the mere fabric of the world around us smarter and more responsive, enabling them to communicate in real-time data without involving a human being, effectively merging the digital and physical universes.


Need for IoT


The increasing concern with energy waste, pollution, and utility costs, combined with the higher expectations from companies creates enormous pressure on Integrated Facility Management companies to optimize their services. Most sites are not equipped to offer the data and real-time response required from managers to make informed decisions concerning comfort, efficiency, and staff productivity. 


A software system for facility management using IoT can monitor the state of equipment and alert the manager in case of warning signs and a more consolidated way to build a functional communication framework. Using tools like report generators makes it easier for team members to report the results of their work. Adopting digital calendars is a way to keep track of calls and meetings, thus improving the discipline and awareness of the team.


Rather than the old login-password two-factor authentication, modern-day systems add a captcha test, biometric authentication, public-and-private key pairs, and other advanced security tools to ensure the system is not accessible for intruders and data leaks are unlikely.


Use of IoT in Facility Management


Many organizations such as SILA are increasing their implementation of IoT and analytics to improve operations and save money. There are many concrete ways that new digital technology can materially improve facility management. They include:


1. Data-driven decisions and automated analysis


Building automation systems produce an enormous amount of data. If accessed and analyzed, this data can provide transparency and help management make smarter decisions. Property managers can get a full picture of the ongoings within buildings, and make evidence-based decisions. Information is power and if used correctly;  it can increase productivity, ROI, and help management make better decisions faster.


2. Efficient employee performance


The Internet of Things helps remove daily frustrations from the workplace by seamlessly guiding the team through the day. Environmental sensors help ensure that the temperature and humidity levels at the facility are optimal. Thanks to connected systems, tracking facility area takes less time — thus, your team will be able to process more orders every day.


3. Reduced operating costs


Hospitality, healthcare, industries, office space facilities and housekeeping service providers use the Internet of Things data to find patterns in usage. Connected tools help determine when the demand for resources is lower than usual and reduce energy and heat consumption. Thus, using IoT, electric utilities and other operating costs decrease.


4. Risk Mitigation


IoT is a huge leap for facility managers in terms of contingency planning and physical security. Connected cameras, implanted tags, beacons for ID confirmation, and other tools help detect threats and eliminate them quickly to avoid crises at the facility. The technology provides facility managers with an extensive pool of high-value data, helping support the decision-making process.


What does the future hold for IoT?


Acceleration of technological development; growing information exchange between developed and developing countries; as well as developing countries participating in technology development will shape the landscape of facilty and project management. The subsequent consequences to the facility management industry, is that it will benefit from increasing labour costs as well as collaborative networking systems. 


We also expect to see major progress in intelligent technology, such as Near Field Communication (NFC) sensors, smart surveillance, security applications and smart robots, which will enable automation of more activities. The development of the Internet of Things and ambient intelligence will allow managers to develop a much better understanding of how people are using buildings, leading to new maintenance approaches, better designs, and more productive spaces.


The future of Facility Management still holds a lot, and we shall witness a fully automated and tech-driven ecosystem that not only improves efficiency but also creates a sustainable system for all.