Making a Data-driven Business Case for IoT Deployment
Like many other industries, building facility management has been dramatically transformed in recent years by rapid advances in technology and data management. Today’s facility managers now have access to powerful building automation systems that act as the command center for building operations, controlling HVAC, lighting, indoor air quality as well as overall environmental quality from a single point of control. Given these changes, facility managers must now embrace the rapidly emerging fields of “building intelligence” and AI-powered facility dashboards that help to integrate the ever-increasing stream of data from connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Developing a data-driven business case for this type of integrated IoT deployment begins with a clear understanding of the newly emerging opportunities and possibilities, identification of desired outcomes, and the management of multiple key stakeholders. As specific facility goals are set and stakeholder priorities assessed, an IoT master plan can be developed that provides both a near term and long term roadmap for staged implementation, and continuous optimization. The ultimate business case for these next generation IoT deployments is built around data from three major areas of focus: Economic, Environmental and Experiential.
The New Economics of IoT
By leveraging newly emerging low-power wide area networks, such as LoRaWAN or other similar protocols, IoT deployment has never been faster or more economical. Because lower power network signals can cross great distances and through previously impassible structures, the complexity and installation of sensor networks has reached new levels of efficiency, enabling sensor configurations that are economical to deploy and almost effortless to maintain. Furthermore, the total cost of ownership for these next gen IoT networks has dropped as the power needs of individual sensors have declined and the overall sensor battery life has increased. These capabilities mean that many sensors can now last as long as ten years without being serviced!
Environmental Impact of IoT
As heating and cooling costs continue to rise, and issues surrounding CO2 emissions gain additional attention, the intersection of facility management and environmental impact becomes increasingly intertwined. A range of IoT sensors can now be arrayed to maximize building comfort while minimizing overall energy spend and environmental impact. With many aging buildings lacking any intelligent or comprehensive energy management platform whatsoever, the potential for dramatic improvement and positive ROI is very high. Furthermore, as a range of alternate energy solutions comes online – such as renewables, combined heat and power and battery storage systems – the potential value for building energy management becomes even greater.
Experiential Building Design for the 21st Century
Just as electrification transformed the built environment in the 20th century, data, sensors and the deployment of intelligent IoT networks will ultimately transform buildings and building management in the 21st century. Buildings and homes are increasingly monitored and controlled via smart dashboards, and in many cases – even from mobile apps. As the building blocks are put in place for even more nuanced and constant feedback, the potential for personalized and customized experiential solutions is immense. Lighting, heating and cooling, entertainment and communications can all be measured and adjusted in real time to reflect the specific needs of individuals, teams and families depending on the time of day and the function at hand. As these types of smart building experiences become more widespread, demand for intelligent facility management will grow accordingly. New construction will have IoT networking built-in as a core system, while older facilities will be retro-fitted to reflect the needs for adaptable and customized building experiences.
Embracing the Future of Facilities Management
Standing at the crossroads of powerful technology and societal trends, today’s building facility managers face an exciting and somewhat unpredictable future. By embracing the specific and measurable economic, environment and experiential opportunities presented by next generation IoT platforms, they can help steer their organizations forward in creating healthier, safer and more sustainable buildings.
If you would like to learn more about how IotaComm can help future-proof your facilities management roadmap, please get in touch for a no obligation demo.