Most of the big trends we see in facility management center around advances in technology. These trends include the following:
- “Smart” technology and IoT
- More data-driven decisions
- Artificial intelligence and automation
- Increased mobility
Let’s break each of these down a little.
IoT and smart technology
With internet of things (IoT) connectivity, assets, building systems, and anything else with an on/off switch communicates data over the internet. That data can be used to automate processes, plan maintenance work, and keep maintenance crews connected while they’re in the field.
More data-driven decisions
The increased access to data afforded by IoT technology makes decision-making based more on information rather than schedules and educated assumptions. FM teams can make better use of their resources and optimize operations.
Artificial intelligence and automation
Workplaces are seeing more and more robots and automated processes. While more automation could mean lower labor costs in some cases, it generally tends to improve efficiency and facilitate human labor rather than outright replacing it.
With so much data being transmitted via internet connectivity, FM teams are finding greater capacity for mobility. Mobile applications connected to FM and CMMSs allow technicians to log reports, access user manuals, and follow maintenance plans while out in the field.
Many of these trends feed on one another. For instance, IoT technology lends itself toward more data-based decision-making as well as greater mobility. Assets and facility processes communicate data over the internet, which is then easily accessed through mobile applications.
The end result is facility management crews are able to access information while they’re working, allowing more data-based decision-making.
The sheer volume of data available through IoT and mobile technology assists maintenance planning and asset management as well. Technicians log reports through mobile applications, IoT assets transmit sensor data, and maintenance planners use that data to make decisions about the repair and upkeep of their facilities.
These trends all lead toward more agile and precise facility management and wiser use of resources. As technology advances forward, FM teams should expect to see a greater emphasis on efficiency overall.