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How to be prepared for the next big wave of digital transformation in Facility Management

Digital transformation dominated the Facilities Management sector in 2019. When it comes to improvements around quality, production, and longevity of physical assets, digital transformation is an unfolding revolution that is set to continue throughout 2020. Here we discuss the top 5 Facility Management technology trends that you need to know about to be prepared for the next big wave of digital transformation.

1. BIM for Facility Managers

This is one of the top tech tools on our radar in 2019. BIM offers a huge opportunity to improve collaboration and communication for facility managers.

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.

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

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.

2. 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 2019, we expect a surge in popularity from CRE executives in the years to come.

3. Data Gets Even More Mobile

The rise of mobile technology frees Facilities Managers from their desks, and lets managers gain greater diversity in their work environments with the ability to oversee multiple locations from a single place.

Read more about how technology can make capital planning stress free in 2020. 

Organizations have been going paperless since the late 90s, and tablets and smartphones have made printed work orders and paper records obsolete on the job history. Instead, facility professionals can easily access all the information they need on an asset and how to perform a repair easily available through their browser-based facility management system (FMS).

Transitioning to a digital workflow is more efficient because work orders, asset locations and maintenance updates are easily accessed, shared and updated, which eliminates downtime playing phone tag and commuting to multiple sites to check on repairs.

4. Facility Optimization with Machine Learning and IoT

Facility Optimization has evolved far beyond simply managing energy consumption as a tactic to improve the bottom line. It has been revolutionized by innovative tech and software platforms that also focus on enhanced asset performance, connected buildings and preventive maintenance management.

Discover how our software transformed the capital planning process for the largest school district in the country. 

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.

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.

In 2019, we predict that the Facility Management industry will spend significantly less time manually collecting data and more time moving towards optimization goals with the help of IoT, Building Automation, and Machine Learning.

5. Blockchain Buzz

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about the benefits of Blockchain for the facilities management sector. The use of blockchain, which is a ledger technology used to track activities and actions within a system, is becoming a more important part of the technology used in facilities management.

Read more about the benefits of blockchain for facilities managers.

According to the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM), blockchain has the power to revolutionize contract management, work order processing, payment processing, tracking of facilities management and maintenance needs and increase overall facility transparency.

Data stored in a Blockchain has the potential to be quickly and easily reviewed, even when maintained by separate departments. The provides a fast and accurate data analysis. Further, highly confidential or proprietary data is far more secure because of Blockchain's single source of shared truth.

An advantage of Blockchain is that it will streamline processes and lower costs through the reduction and/or elimination of those dreaded manual operations. This could be adapted to almost any process including preventive maintenance, work orders, environmental health and safety planning, and space management.

While the widespread implementation of Blockchain is still a long way off, it is still a good idea to invest time and energy into evaluating and researching the ways in which this exciting new technology could be implemented. At Intellis, we believe that it is never too early to start identifying areas that can be improved by new developments in technology.


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.

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 about how technology can make facilities management and capital planning stress free?

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