Facility managers are doing much more than we expected. They need to take care of every aspect of their facility, including: people, place, processes and technology. According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), “facility management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety, and efficiency of the built environment.”
With the help of technology, facility managers are improving the ways how they manage the facility. In 2019, there are 6 main tech trends in facility management:
- Drone technology
- AI and machine learning
- Integrated data collection and analysis
- Mobile workflow
As drone technology gets more efficient and less expensive, facility managers are able to adopt the technology to perform a facility inspection. Intellis predicts that building managers will begin to “integrate drones for aerial surveillance of buildings and outdoor spaces in the coming years.” With automation programming, facility managers can collect information in a safer and faster way.
AI and Machine Learning
Robots and automation systems are becoming more and more important for facility managers. A lot of facilities adopt AI to manage all building systems. According to iOffice, the advantages of AI include “decreased labor expenses, the ability to perform tasks outside of work hours, increased efficiency via automation and reduced safety risks.” Moreover, as more and more companies encourage their employees to learn computer programming, in the coming years, facility managers are able to utilize the technology to better manage the place and people.
Integrated Data Collection and Analysis
Data-driven decision making should sound familiar to facility managers. Nowadays, everything is stored online, which gives easy access to mass amounts of data. And the more data we collect, the better decisions we can make. For facilities specifically, managers can understand how the building is used to decide whether they need to change or improve their plans.
Another big tech trend is that our mobile phones are becoming more and more useful. Facility professionals can easily access information from their mobile devices, which allow them to manage the facility from a distance. Mobile workflow is also able to aggregate all of the information from different spots on the property, which greatly eases the stress of going to multiple places to check on the facility.
Biometrics may sound a little unfamiliar to you. However, if you think of the fingerprint security feature on your mobile phones and the health-tracking watches you wear, biometrics is actually everywhere in our life. According to Office Space, biometrics measures include “access control, room bookings, and facility traffic management,” and they help “ensure only authorized employees and clients can enter permitted areas.” People may forget to bring their keys or passwords, but they won’t have this concern after their facility adopts biometrics measures.
Last but not least, personal analytics is also an important tech trend, even though it is relatively new compared to the other five trends. According to Office Space, personalization can not only prepare the staff with skills and guidelines, but also make them feel more comfortable using the software or tools that they are required to use at work.
In conclusion, facility managers need to consider how they can utilize technological innovation to aid their job and increase work efficiency. By keeping up with the latest tech trends, they can perform their jobs better and lead the company to success.