It is January of a new year and time to start blogging regularly once again. This blog is the first in a series of eleven blogs which will explore why it has never been more critical than now to implement an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). As we enter this new year, we need to understand the following trends:
- Integration. The "I" in IWMS has never been more relevant and is actually changing its meaning as we are creating new platforms that will allow integration in an easier and more simplified way than in the past (Trimble Connect).
- Mobility. Last year, for the first time, access to the internet via mobile devices surpassed access via desktop and laptop computers. As the use of mobile devices – smart phones and touch-screen tablets – has skyrocketed, workers are increasingly seeking out productivity tools they can use while on the move. Real estate, facility management and construction management are fields dominated by workers who spend more time "in the field" than at desks, so it is only logical to anticipate new mobile capabilities in the IWMS technology that supports those workers, allowing them to move seamlessly from desk to vehicle to jobsite.
- New Lease Regulations. Unfortunately FASB/IASB regulatory changes did not go away even after 8 years of debate, resistance and delay. In fact, the final standards for lease accounting will soon be published. Since companies will have to recognize all their leases on their balance sheets beginning in 2017/18, they cannot waste time in getting a system up and running to capture all of the data they will need for compliance. And since this could take from 6 months to 3 years to implement, the time to start is now and the system to capture property and lease data is an IWMS.
- Internet of Things (IoT). It is increasingly easy to imagine a world in which everything is connected to everything. Cars are rapidly becoming moving information sources, and everything from construction equipment to household appliances seemingly comes in a "smart" flavor that links to a phone or WiFi signal. In the realm of real estate and facility management, we are moving beyond hard-wired building control systems and data outlets and into a world of more subtle and pervasive connections, where the devices we carry and wear provide information about our whereabouts and activities, and the spaces and furniture we occupy responds to our presence and our needs for information.
- BIM and FM. McGraw Hill's The Business Value of BIM for Owners states, The impending implementation of the UK BIM mandate is driving a much higher general level of owner BIM involvement there than in the US, including a growing focus on the use of BIM for facility management. They also mention that organizations with IWMS are better positioned to transfer BIM data to FM for on-going operations and maintenance.
- Big Data/Analytics. In 2015, every knowledge worker must be a data scientist. Having access to facts and figures isn't enough anymore; we must all be able to provide rapid insight into deeper levels of meaning in the numbers that pour across our desks and our computer screens. The analysis need to be visually stimulating, easy to digest and, above all, accurate and convincing. Look for 2015 to be a year in which your peers and manager demand more and better analytics,and in which your vendors offer new and exciting ways to get there.
- Integrated project delivery and just-in-time logistics are transforming the way we build our workplaces, residences and other structures. And that atmosphere of dynamic responsiveness extends outward to the end users – the owners and occupants of the future facility, who want to stay on top of their construction so that they can plan exactly when and how they will take control, move in and operate their facilities. Project management systems that connect the entire chain from identification of need to concept to funding to construction to commissioning and handoff are ever more important to a business world in which a day's delay can cost millions.
- Data standards are now more critical than ever if we want to perform true benchmarking, as well as make transfer of information from one system to another easier. There has to be more acceptance of OSCRE and COBie standards this year.
- Capital Planning. For owners of buildings, particularly in government, higher education and healthcare, the process of capital planning has to be part of the IWMS workflow. Understanding what projects need to be prioritized and funded is key for lifecycle planning and management of facilities and is a key function of an IWMS.
- 360 degrees of customer experience. Whenever a "customer" interacts with the RE and FM staff, it is now critical that the information which is exchanged is tracked and will help to maximize their experience with the workplace. IWMS allows you to track a 360 degree of these experiences including data on the past, present and even the projected future. This is particularly important with space scheduling.
These top ten are only briefly mentioned in this list, so we will have a blog a week for the next ten weeks on each of these critical trends for real estate and facility management. Besides our weekly blogs, you are invited to sign up for a comprehensive introduction to IWMS on January 28 where you can not only gain a more advanced understanding of this enterprise system, but can ask questions of the experts. Sign up today for the webinar and read next week’s blog about Trimble’s new concept in life-cycle planning, operations and management, Trimble Connect.