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So. You’ve decided you need a Cloud-based building management system (BMS) to manage multiple facilities across your enterprise. You’re well aware of the challenges you face on a daily basis and, having done your homework, know the Cloud is the way to go because of all the benefits it offers. You’ve even anticipated future capabilities you’d like on your roster and plan to pitch the benefit of adding analytics to this solution to the bigwigs upstairs. Great! Now what?
This post outlines three steps to complete on your quest to upgrading to a Cloud-based BMS… and how to overcome them.
Step 1: Site Logistics
You may hit your first roadblock when deciding what infrastructure is needed to get all of your sites connected to the Cloud. Honestly, the sky is the limit! (Pun intended.) You may need to install HVAC controls to allow for remote monitoring. You could add lighting controls that can be scheduled. You may even want to add light level sensors that help you save energy by adjusting light output based on available daylight. If you have the budget for it, why not toss in some door, window and motion sensors to adjust lighting and HVAC systems based on occupancy?
Catch up with the latest and greatest on building controls in our white paper, “Improving Office Energy Costs and Worker Productivity with Integrated Room Controllers.”
Step 2: Budget
Organizations don’t always understand the benefits a Cloud-based system can deliver, letting budgetary concerns clog up project momentum before it’s even gotten rolling. Rather than be overwhelmed at the thought of implementing an organization-wide system, focus on a few critical sites first. Then, as budget becomes available, you can expand project plans to tackle other facilities. As each new site is upgraded, simply connect it to the cloud – and then your analytics platform.
This image illustrates avoidable costs (actual data will vary according to region and specific facility conditions). The level of investment shown here is easy to cost-justify for most facilities. Assuming a 30% savings in energy costs, typical to most real installations, full ROI can be realized within six months to two years.
Step 3: Security
Another concern that frequently comes up during this process is security. Security is an important concern for every enterprise, yours included. Contrary to popular opinion, Cloud computing can provide an environment that is more secure and less costly than most internal IT systems. This is due to centralized data storage, governance, and control. Some Cloud services even offer the same technology as that used in secure banking.
Clouds come in two flavors: public and private. Public Clouds use the open Internet and share resources among clients. Private Clouds provide dedicated resources for each individual client. However both options can be highly secure, depending on what is offered by the provider. While a Private Cloud costs more than its public counterpart, it gives users more control over the technology and security systems used, making it easier to standardize security processes and maintain accountability.
Due diligence is needed as not all Cloud-based management systems are created the same. While personal information is not transferred in building management applications, some building information (like security status or occupancy) could be considered sensitive. Go with a reputable Cloud provider who can address any security concerns you may have.
Brush up on BMS security with our white paper, “Five Best Practices to Improve Building Management System (BMS) Cybersecurity.”
Get started now
The Cloud makes a more cost-effective approach to enterprise facility management possible. Armed with information about the solution, its challenges, benefits, and ability to perform analytics, you’re ready to begin upgrading sites across your enterprise. To learn more see a summary of the blog series.
Start reducing costs, improving occupant comfort, and enhancing building performance today; read our white paper, “Leveraging Cloud-Based Building Management Systems for Multi-Site Facilities”.