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Happy New Year! These are the Facility Management Technology Trends you need to know in 2021

Happy New Year! In 2020 nearly every industry was required to pivot toward digital alternatives. In the coming years, we predict that the Facility Management industry will continue to shift toward even greater digital transformation. By taking advantage of optimization solutions that have expanded to also focus on enhanced asset performance and maintenance management, your facilities team can save money, lower risk and improve efficiency.

Read our guide to the facility optimization revolution.

It is vital that organizations with complex operations and wide-ranging facility portfolios future-proof their building systems and capital investments by implementing a facility optimization strategy powered by innovative facility management software such as FOUNDATION.

Here we discuss the top technology trends that are set to transform Facility Management, Condition Assessment and Capital Planning in 2021!

1. The Evolution of IoT

In the coming years there will be a greater adoption of the Internet of Things-enabled equipment by facilities management across a range of applications.

Among the top benefits of greater implementation of IoT devices is improved energy efficiently and occupant experience. Examples include installing more sensors for lights and automated temperature controls, which will enable further visibility into energy usage and management.

Internet-connected devices are generating datasets for buildings that have never existed before – and can now be leveraged through machine learning. Building owners, managers and engineers will use machine learning to sift through data and unlock insights into market trends, building performance optimization and other big-data applications.

2. Condition Assessment Data Gets Even More Accurate with BIM

This is one of the top tech tools on our radar in 2021. BIM offers a huge opportunity to improve collaboration and communication for facility managers particularly during the condition assessment process.

Listen to Intellis CEO Steve Warshaw discuss the benefits of implementing a continuous inspection cycle.

Traditionally used by contractors and architects, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a tool for developing and scaling virtual models of building projects. While BIM is not a new technology, it is increasingly becoming commonplace in the facility management sector.

BIM offers Facility Managers the most complete visual model of facilities, assets and infrastructure. Facility professionals are harnessing the power of these tools for project management, delivery, and data accessibility. When integrated with existing work order programs or facility maintenance software, facility teams realize an improved ability to retrieve accurate asset information and insights.

3. Drones for Facility Condition Assessments

Drone technology is rapidly advancing. It is becoming more efficient and less expensive. Imagine performing roof inspections without having to waste time or money on scaffolding—this is one of the major benefits that drones offer owners and operators of facilities and infrastructure.

We predict that owners and operators of buildings and infrastructure will begin to integrate drones for aerial surveillance of buildings and outdoor spaces in the coming years. This will allow security personnel to monitor large areas more effectively.

While commercial-use drone technology is still emerging and there are many safety considerations that must be sorted, there have been successful examples of drones surveying historical sites in NYC, which denotes a promising future for using drones to perform complicated condition assessments.

Drones will bring unprecedented opportunities for improved efficiency in facility management. One of the biggest benefits of implementing drones during facility condition assessments is the increased safety and automation offered. While drone use may not be widespread across the industry in 2021, we expect a surge in popularity from Corporate Real Estate executives in the years to come.

4. Integrating Robotic Automation for Enhanced Asset Performance

Robotic automation is poised to take over the management of repetitive and hazardous tasks. Examples include repetitive tasks and services such as cleaning and security. Types of activities that follow the same process every time, such as sweeping a floor, are prime opportunities for the integration of robots into operations.

Further innovations in early stages of development include robots for security patrol, lawn mowing, and snow removal. There are myriad benefits of robotic automation, namely the reduction of operating expenses, freeing up existing staff to focus on higher value activities while mitigating some of the risk associated with these tasks.

The benefits of automation are boundless. Rather than relying on tenants or facility team members to constantly monitor temperature levels, the influx of work orders, or switching off the lights, a centralized Building Automation System (BAS) will seamlessly and automatically monitor these key facility functions.

Furthermore, because these systems continually collect data, you will be able to optimize your physical assets based on real-time insights. This gives your facilities management ream the ability to analyze usage patterns, which in turn give you the power to develop strategies for saving money and improving efficiency throughout your entire asset portfolio.

5. Wider Adoption of Augmented Reality 

While widespread use of augmented reality is still in the early stages of development for facilities management, this technology has gained major ground in the past few years. There are business use cases in development for end-to-end Augmented Reality solutions that have real potential to transform facilities management.

There are experiments underway by forward-thinking companies with various applications of Augmented Reality in order to aid workers in selected tasks. For example, a remote assisted maintenance toolkit that includes endoscopic and thermal cameras, a microphone, and a portable computer.

With these tools, an equipment operator could connect remotely to an expert, who can guide him through a maintenance procedure. Further Augmented Reality maintenance could offer operators support through an integrated helmet with special glasses and software that details proper maintenance procedures.

Conclusion

Central to our mission is the commitment to implement the latest tech advancements in our enterprise solutions, such as FOUNDATION, so that we can provide our clients with the best software solutions that ensure healthy building and infrastructure operations while also reducing costs, improving productivity and boosting sustainability.

Listen to CEO Steven Warshaw talk about bringing all these new technologies together in a meaningful way on the FM Innovator Podcast.

Software solutions such as FOUNDATION help businesses to better organize their facility management departments, which leads to less unplanned downtime, higher productivity and better overall business performance. When facility managers move from organizing inspection and maintenance with paper, pen and clipboards to implementing software solutions such as FOUNDATION, customers can reduce costs by seven to nine times.

The FOUNDATION software platform is part of this revolution, and these exciting new developments will change the facility management industry. With FOUNDATION you will be well-equipped to be at the forefront of this wave of digital transformation.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with our team of experts to learn more about how we can help your organization implement tools that will improve efficiency, mitigate risk and increase ROI. 

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