Survey: Rise of IoT Prompts Facility Managers to Invest in Analytics

A study commissioned by Schneider Electric suggests 65% of facility managers in the United States plan to increase building capital expenses in 2016.

DALLAS – Facility managers are increasingly adapting their building maintenance strategies in response to the Internet of Things (IoT), with 60% of professionals predicting that IoT will impact their building and maintenance policies within the next year, according to a new study commissioned by Schneider Electric.

The study found 65% of respondents are also planning to increase investment in building capital expenses in 2016, including advanced building technologies that manage and glean insights from new data sets.

While respondents indicated that IoT is taking hold within their business, challenges exist to taking full advantage of building data. Seventy percent of facility managers reported that their building management staff is very or extremely skilled in data analysis, but only 27% utilize data driven analytics solutions in relation to building management. Key barriers to uptake include the level of investment required (39% reporting as a top concern) and the lack of internal resources available to interpret data into actionable results (31% reporting as a top concern).

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Another factor impacting the shift toward new building technologies is that only 26% of facility managers feel that available building information is totally adequate for facility maintenance planning. A majority of respondents cited room for improvement in this area, and only 15% reported they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools to proactively assess and target equipment maintenance.

“The explosive growth of data, information and devices in today’s enterprises is dramatically impacting expectations of buildings and our relationships with them. Facility professionals need to be able to better visualize what’s happening across their footprint and make educated decisions to correct and improve conditions,” said Brett Wheless, director of field services, Schneider Electric. “More than half of facility managers are still largely reactive when it comes to maintaining building systems, which can have major impacts on occupant comfort and can decrease the life of the building.”

Wheless said the company is observing a change in attitude among facility professionals that is driving them to think differently about the way they collect and assimilate building data.

“We’re seeing that facility managers are more prepared than ever before to invest in advanced building technologies as interest levels are high and operational budgets are increasing,” he added. “Tremendous opportunities exist to gain value from critical building data – including connected services such as remote analytics – which sets facility managers up for success in optimizing their buildings to run at the highest levels of efficiency.”

You can review full results of the study here.

The survey was conducted by Opinionography in January among 400 U.S. facility leaders in establishments including data centers, commercial and industrial buildings, retail, health care, education, government and other building environments. Respondents have responsibility related to purchasing energy and technology solutions, and their biggest responsibilities included facility management and operations management.

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