Building Management

Is Your Building IoT Ready?

Have you heard this one before? According to Gartner Research, there will be 20.8 billion connected objects by 2020. That’s more things than people on earth. Why does nearly every discussion about the IoT include a count? Because the number is astounding and exponential — and you need to understand the magnitude and drivers in order to not just prepare, but leverage the IoT in your buildings.

Despite Gartner’s 2016 forecast of 6.4 million connected objects, we still consider the IoT emerging. In a typical large building of 100,000 square feet, there are thousands of intelligent devices which could be connected. Yet, the majority are still closed.

Not for long; what’s happening at home, where people can control their HVAC and security systems from anywhere, for example, is heading to the office. Building occupants are expecting the same seamless IoT experience at work as they have in their personal lives.

So what’s holding you back? We understand the big issues — budget, resources and security. Adding another level of complexity to your building may seem daunting, but leveraging the IoT will actually address these concerns. Your team will be more productive and your structure will use less energy. Plus, you may already have the foundation in place.

Resources
A building management system (BMS) like SmartStruxure solution from Schneider Electric is the platform in which the IoT within a facility flows. With BMS as the infrastructure, the next step is a matter of reexamining business process and reprioritizing. Then you’ll see that as the IoT comes to life, it will not only provide new functionality for your occupants, but also deliver new data for you to gain insight.

In turn, you’ll have more time to focus on strategic activities. Taking advantage of the IoT to better manage the day-to-day whirlwind in a building means you can reallocate resources to higher value tasks.

Security
The thought of connecting your BMS to numerous new systems may bring a recent high-profile breach to mind, but rather than looking at the incident with concern, use it to apply best practices to your managing your IoT infrastructure.  Embrace the convergence of OT and IT.

Security is absolutely achievable. In a previous post, my colleague Fred Cohn explained, “There are some essential steps you can take to make sure your operations systems are protected. These are the very basic things that must be in place, but it’s often when something fundamental is missed that bad actors find their way in.” He goes on to share seven golden rules.

Focus on the User
The days of keeping data within the building are quickly disappearing. We are moving to a world where you have to push out information for anytime, anywhere access to enable more intelligent real-time decisions and satisfy tenants.

In fact, putting the occupant at the center of the experience is key to meeting  new user expectations and fully realizing the benefits of the IoT. If you don’t rise to meet this demand, you may soon find yourself in an empty building.

 


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