It’s no secret that facility management is becoming more challenging. Whether you operate or own an office building, data center, or industrial plant, your executive team is likely mandating a growing number of goals related to uptime, efficiency, and sustainability. This can be quite complicated depending on the nature of your infrastructure and the resources you have to support it.
In this post, I’ll introduce some exciting ways that electrification, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital services are helping organizations scale to meet these new challenges while achieving a favorable return on investment.
1. All-electric, all-digital: making facilities greener and more resilient
To help organizations grow and keep control of budgets, most facilities and operations teams are tasked with minimizing costs, maintaining the infrastructure, and ensuring safety. But now, many companies are adding a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon, often on an aggressive timeline.
Fortunately, all of these goals can be accelerated by adopting the all-electric, all-digital vision of Electricity 4.0:
- Replacing fossil-fuel-based loads with electric
- Taking advantage of on-site renewable energy generation
- Digitalizing your building and energy infrastructure to uncover risks and opportunities while enabling data-driven decisions
These steps are important but not easy for every organization. You may have an aging infrastructure that experiences more frequent downtime events. Or you may have a complex infrastructure with power-sensitive electronic components and assets with different lifespans and maintenance requirements. Additionally, you need to navigate the newest environmental regulations.
Managing and modernizing such systems requires experience at a time when your resources may be shrinking due to retirement and skilled labor shortages. Without the right expertise and bandwidth, your facility risks more downtime, costs, and roadblocks to improving sustainability.
So what’s the solution? You need to leverage modern IoT platforms and domain expertise. And you need support that is customized for your unique business objectives.
2. Connectivity is key to enabling apps and services
IoT-based digital transformation is creating more intelligent facilities. The connectivity offered by the newest electrical distribution and building management systems delivers various benefits, such as giving you the data and control your team needs to manage your infrastructure more effectively.
It can also connect your facility data to the cloud, where you can take advantage of the newest analytics, including AI, machine learning, and augmented reality while keeping it cybersecure. These tools can help you anticipate needs and adapt your maintenance approach to the requirements of your infrastructure’s assets.
To enable these solutions, you first need to have equipment with native connectivity, or you will need to add smart devices where required. Once data is delivered to the cloud, you will want to extract the maximum value from it.
Partnering with experts will help you connect your devices and systems, and get the most from cloud-based advisory platforms that provide visibility to improve and speed decision-making. And connecting to the cloud opens a portal to more scalable solutions.
3. The power and payback of digital services
Connecting to every important electrical and building asset across your enterprise is critical, but it’s not enough. You need to turn all that ‘big data’ from meters, sensors, HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, motors, and other rotating equipment into useful and actionable insights.
Schneider Electric Services teams are experts delivering support remotely, securely, and continuously from a global service hub. Connected Services Hub experts have intimate knowledge of your type of operation and equipment, which they will maintain necessary levels of confidentiality to monitor, troubleshoot, and allocate any necessary investigations 24/7. Our teams have expertise spanning multiple domains – from power, energy, and building management, to industrial automation, data centers, and more – helping you integrate siloed systems to achieve the highest levels of shared organizational outcomes.
Digital services can also include the support of on-site support experts, using an integrated approach that prepares the technician with all the advanced diagnostic information and tools they need to make their site visit as efficient and effective as possible.
Using digital services means you can achieve these goals at a fraction of the cost of adding full-time staff while accessing the combined experience of seasoned experts.
In my next post, I’ll look at how these kinds of digital services can be specifically tailored to your needs. I’ll also show how they are helping improve the resilience and sustainability of different types of industries.
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