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Facilities Management's Needs for Technology

Learn what facility managers need in their digital toolkit and how these systems can improve their organization

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The past year has shone a spotlight on how technology can be used to optimize workflows and connect teams. Technology can also be used in your building to optimize and connect systems, frameworks and data.

In this session available for continuing education units, Gordon Mitchell, Chief Information Officer for Key Facilities Management discusses what should be in your Digital FM Toolkit and how these systems and strategies can assist your organization.

However, technology can be overwhelming for your team, so he also discusses how this technology transformation should take place from the inside of your organization, out. Finally, there is a review of the in-development ISO standard on technology in facility management for better understanding of implantation and practicality from the ISO standard position.

Here’s a preview:

From my point of view, building on having the buy-in and the understanding shared within the business — not organization — of what you're trying to achieve in that transformation, then you very much get to considerations around how do I want to approach this and what kind of format will you take.

I think both the accessibility to this digital landscape and the tools that it has, but also our own expectations and demands from our workplaces and beyond, has grown and matured. We now have to a certain extent almost a reimagining of what is facilities management and asset management and property management and the like. It's progressively becoming more human-centric. In that regard facility management as a general overarching practice has never been able to either influence the value of those human transaction spaces, but also plug into more that business and decision making to complement the core objectives and the direct objectives of the C-suite and that boardroom.

I think for me there's the considerations in that regard in terms of how this reimagining of facility management can look and will be applied, but of course equally, so I think it's to do with our own selves to be able to accommodate all of that technology and work with it. And that's our strategy, our tactics, our operations. That's our people, our teams, and delivering again on this digital transformation isn't just the case of here's a platform, here's a login.

It's very much about how do you take that team on the journey. How do you move through a digital maturity in terms of that almost cognitive functionality or the bionicle type considerations where step one may simply be moving from paper to Excel and that's the right thing at the right pace for the function to go through. Or it might be part of the possible and quantum computing and all these amazing buzzwords that you hear again and again. That can be the right thing as well. So I think balancing both who we're trying to transform with and why we're trying to transform, as well as getting that alignment and culture established are all about big ticket items, visions, directions. But having that shared information understood and co-designed, I think again is really a recipe for success for that digital FM toolkit.

I don't want to labor the point too much because that's not what I'm here today to talk about but I think it's incredibly important to get these positional aspects correct. I don't know the stats for all around the world, but I know in 2019 — obviously before all the challenges that that we've all undertaken as of recent occurred — in terms of internet of things and projects in the United Kingdom, there was 75 percent failure on the objective of what the project was there to deliver. And that wasn't because the technology wasn't good. In some instances for sure that might be the case, but the large sway of that was around that alignment with what we were actually trying to achieve. At the end of the day, having SQL databases or Excel spreadsheets full of data that don't do anything and transform nothing, yes you might have the data but it's a failure for a project. So it's all about that full end-to-end understanding. Then, under promising and over delivering, which if you get the digital toolkit right, you will absolutely be empowered to do so.

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