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The as-a-service model has arrived in building and facility management. Regardless of the specific application, there are a variety of questions that building owners and facility managers should consider when looking at this model:
• What problem are you trying to solve? The as-a-service model in buildings is outcome-specific, but a building owner must first determine the desired outcome, and then judge the model on its ability to provide that result.
• What is the technology stack? As-a-service models are technology-enabled, but they are not exclusively dependent on technology. That said, it is useful to understand the role that technology plays. Questions about the various pieces of the technology stack and the data that will be collected are all fair game.
• What responsibilities does the building owner continue to have? Understanding what the vendor provides versus the building owner is a key discussion. It may be useful to map out the building’s responsibilities today, compared to those that will be assumed by the vendor.
• What are the expected ongoing costs versus the costs for a traditional capital model? While the as-a-service model usually is financially advantageous, it’s worth comparing the numbers in each unique circumstance.
• Does the as-a-service model make certain services applicable to a wider range of buildings? Technology typically reduces the cost to deliver a service. In some cases, offerings become less costly and more attractive to smaller customers, which expands the market for them. For buildings, this means that some services may be financially feasible for smaller buildings when using a tech-enabled as-a-service model. For example, this could mean that HVAC repair, which may be deferred, now is feasible. Building owners that currently are not able to deliver a full range of facility management services may find that an as-a-service model makes it more financially feasible.
Joseph Aamidor (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior product and market strategy consultant focused on smart buildings, IoT, energy, and real estate. He has nearly 15 years of experience in building and energy technology.
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