Following last week’s blog looking towards the future of automation and robotics, this week’s article presents a wider picture of technology in FM, using our survey research from FM professionals across the UK and Asia Pacific over the last 12 months.
Mobile & Self-Service
The headline finding from the UK FM Software Survey 2016 was the use of mobile sky-rocketing by almost 30% in just one year. 72% of respondents reported using mobile and tablet devices to manage FM; a trend followed by closely by respondents in the APAC FM Software Survey 2016 / 17 (62%). Self-service was also an area of high growth – with both regions allowing building users, contractors or engineers to log jobs, book rooms or request services from devices such as public computers, kiosks or mobile devices (66% in the UK and 67% in APAC). These changes point to a greater focus on results and productivity – which respondents stated they are gaining from their FM software.
BIM (Building Information Modelling)
BIM Level 2 is now mandatory on public sectors builds, and Level 3 (also known as Digital Built Britain) is currently receiving strong government investment and support from both public and private sectors. In Service Works’ FM software survey last year, BIM was voted as the fourth most significant technology trend (45%), behind mobile apps, self-service and energy management. Many of those with FM software were also integrating the two systems to gain the maximum benefit from the information provided by BIM. From these numbers we can see that BIM is perhaps now viewed as more than a ‘trend’ in facilities management, and is becoming an embedded process for FMs who are keen to become involved and benefit from the data collected.
Australia is also embracing BIM, despite the lack of government mandate, with many high profile constructions like Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Airport already using the system in order to create savings and efficiencies and drive greater collaboration on projects.
The use of Cloud services is becoming more popular in the UK, with companies such as Amazon diversifying and launching their own platform. Facilities managers using FM software to manage their assets, buildings and resources are choosing to host it in the Cloud rather than on servers in their own workplaces in order to gain increased flexibility and security. 20% more survey respondents reported using the Cloud for their FM software in 2016 than 2015 (from 24% to 44%), and those in Australia are also following suit with 42% taking advantage of Cloud hosting. Ultimately for FMs this means that more time can be spent on core FM business rather than having to deal with any technical IT issues that may occur.
What does the future hold for facilities management?
This research shows that rapid development of technology has made it more accessible for the FM profession. Having emerged from consumer market roots, mobile devices and touch screens have led to great productivity gains in FM due to their familiarity, meaning little to no training is required, as well as their falling costs making them more accessible to smaller budgets. The rise of systems integration with CAFM, use of the Cloud and the virtual environment of BIM all point to the confidence the industry has in Big Data and IoT which are allowing FMs to save time and gain control and insight like never before. In our APAC FM Software Survey 2016 / 17, one Australian service provider stated that technology is a “differentiator between competitors”, which summarises the landscape in FM at the moment in both regions – those using technology such as FM software are experiencing better results and increased savings than those who are not.
If you would like to receive an infographic summary of the UK Software Survey results, or the new Australian FM infographic, please email Service Works Group on email@example.com. You can also request a copy the white paper ‘Mobile Technology: A Global Facilities Trend’ through the website.
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