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'Perfect Storm' for Internet of Things in Buildings

By Ken Sinclair

Here's an excerpt from an interview in the current issue of AutomatedBuildings.com:

"‘Perfect Storm’ for IoT in BuildingsYet, the vast majority of these portfolio managers have no knowledge or solution for fully "IoT’ing" (i.e. networking and connecting data) their biggest assets, under the status quo. - Deb Noller, Switch Automation

Sinclair:  Why is right now such a "perfect storm" for IoT in buildings?

Noller:  One strongly-worded theme keeps repeating itself in the halls of Switch Automation lately: "If you don’t have a ‘digital strategy’ for your building portfolio, then you won’t have a job for long." A bit threatening? Perhaps. True? Undoubtedly.

Here’s the thing…technology is evolving so rapidly [enter, Internet of Things and the fact that building systems, “edge devices” are now primed for enterprise networking and software connections], energy consumption in buildings is still off the charts and the world is under pressure to save resources [in all of its definitions].

And buildings, one of the largest asset classes, AREN’T KEEPING UP. Basically every single thing that a modern building owner purchases for their building now has some semblance of a digital control [think large mechanical equipment, like chillers, sure—but these days even basic systems like generators and elevators have DDC, not to mention new-generation technologies like solar power inverters]. Yet, the vast majority of these portfolio managers have no knowledge or solution for fully "IoT’ing" (i.e., networking and connecting data) their biggest assets, under the status quo. Many do not even understand that their competitors are doing just that, right now as we speak. There are huge problems with disparate systems from dozens of vendors, most notably in the complexity it creates coupled with a complete lack of overarching management and engineering oversight. Many technology vendors have been taking advantage of building owners / operators / managers for a long time — selling them systems that are not well understood and poorly commissioned in the field, only to subsequently sell them costly service contracts to remediate and monitor the original problems. These assets are well on their way to becoming a huge liability without a solid digital strategy. They need a digital strategy that not only aggregates and displays data in a readable way—but actually gives functional next steps on how to best operationalize, manage and improve efficiencies across the enterprise.

The time is now because it’s the year 2016 and we are completely WASTING money, energy, and brilliant technology, simply because the masses haven’t adopted the end-to-end solution that already exists.

It’s really a choice for building owners at this point - get in front of it, or risk getting left behind.

AutomatedBuildings.com is trying to provide a starting point for us all to better understand the possible of connection. In addition to using our web site we are weaving information in and out of social media using our and other's LinkedIn Groups, my Twitter feed and this month a try at "A New Menu View Pinterest" ... the visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas. 

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.

Part 1: Collecting, Clarifying, Quantifying, and Qualifying Connections

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posted on 11/3/2015