Study: Internet of Things Impacts Building Maintenance Strategies

  July 11, 2016

By Dave Lubach

A recent study commissioned by Schneider Electric shows how the Internet of Things (IoT) and building maintenance strategies are converging.

The survey of 400 facility leaders working in data centers, commercial and industrial buildings, retail, healthcare, education, and government revealed that 60 percent of the respondents indicated that IoT will impact their building and maintenance policies within the next year.

Sixty-five percent of the managers are also planning to increase investment in building capital expenses this year, including advanced building technologies that manage and glean insights from new data sets.

The IoT element also poses other challenges for managers: 70 percent of facility managers say their building management staff is very or extremely skilled in data analysis, but only 27 percent utilize data driven analytics solutions in relation to building management. Key reasons preventing managers from expanding their use include level of investment required (39 percent) and the lack of internal resources available to interpret data into actionable results (31 percent).

Another factor impacting the shift toward new building technologies is that only 26 percent 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 percent reported they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools to proactively assess and target equipment maintenance.

Other notable observations:
• Data centers are likely to spend more than other facilities on electricity in a year.
• 57 percent of facility maintenance and management decision makers make the final decisions on facility outsourcing, while the remaining make the decisions or have influence over the decisions to some extent.

“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,” says 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. We are now seeing a change in attitude among facility professionals that is driving them to think differently about the way they collect and assimilate building data – it’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry.”

Wheless added, “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. 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.”

Complete results of the survey can be found here. Also view the accompanying infographic for more information. For more on data centers visit

This quick read was submitted by Dave Lubach, associate editor for Facility Maintenance Decisions. Reach him at


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