Advantages of Combining Mobile and the Building IoT
Second of a two part article how mobile technology and the building internet of things complement each other.
But when features are wisely specified and designed to need, mobile and the Building IoT can offer convenience, efficiency, and savings. “These tools are exciting and innovative,” says McGowan. “FMs are interfacing directly with the BAS, lighting controls, security through mobile devices.” But part of the advantage of the combination of mobile and the Building IoT is the ability to take advantage of all the data buildings can produce. “You’re really kicking your operation into high gear when you overlay analytics,” says McGowan. “IoT is the point-of-entry to be able to take real advantage of analytics. It’s the engine that’s looking at fault detection, alarming, and enterprise energy management.”
The IoT, like any technology, is neither plug-and-play nor set-it-and-forget-it, but the level of automation — and programming the system to tell you only what you need to know and when — is much more advanced now than it’s ever been before. This may give facility managers pause if it sounds like it means they’re out of a job, and the robots are taking over. Not the case, says Knight. “You still need staff to respond to those alarms and events,” he says. “We’re not talking about losing jobs, we’re talking about working in different ways. Mobility gives building operators better tools.” If they don’t need to watch the weather to know when to turn up a chiller, they can spend that time doing other things, he says.
One advantage McGowan says he sees of the intersection of mobile and the Building IoT is the availability of on-demand analytics to better judge service contractors. Imagine being in a contract renewal meeting, and negotiating a price and asking for a higher level of service, and being able to pull up on an iPad months of data on the contractor’s performance with just a few taps. On June 3, 4, 10, and 11, Margaret in accounting complained that her wastebasket was full and not emptied, for instance, and in total we’ve had 44 complaints of un-emptied wastebaskets in the course of six months. Data is indeed power. “We’ve never been able to access that specificity of information so quickly before,” says McGowan.
And that’s the rub: the availability of not just data, but analytics of those data and action items from those analytics, is the real value of combining building IoT systems with mobile technology. Doing so adds a new level of convenience and efficiency to any facility management operation. This may be new technology, but don’t be afraid of it, says McGowan.
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