Facilities management tends to be thought of as dull, unglamorous, and a chore, whereas the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are trendy, forward-looking, and exciting. So you might think that never the twain shall meet – but it seems this is a marriage made in heaven…
There are millions of commercial buildings around the world, and almost half are occupied by multisite businesses, such as retail chains and hotel companies. For multisite operators these facilities cost a great deal to repair and maintain. And often this is done locally, by contractors in separate locations. As a result it is difficult to control maintenance costs and to assure the quality of workmanship. Digital technology has the potential to change all of this.
Software can be used to analyse thousands of records of maintenance and repair that has been done, and AI can identify pattern in this data in order to inform facilities managers about what maintenance might be required in the future, when this should be scheduled and how this should be done to have the most beneficial impact. The IoT and AI can also be used to monitor maintenance and repair work to ensure compliance, identify completion times, and establish best practice. This same technology can also incorporate sensors in buildings to manage energy usage and security.
Source: Baiocchi, T. (2017) Driving operational cost savings with the Internet of Things, MIT Sloan Management Review, December 05