This couple better be careful what they say in front of what used to be an unthreatening passive product, the television. Little do they know that if they had accidently selected a voice activation option on their remote Samsung Smart TV, the set would “listen and record their conversations” which would be sent to a third party to most likely do a speech-to-text conversion for the company. As the BBC pointed out this week, this is eerily reminiscent of George Orwell’s telescreens in 1984 which listened to what people were saying in their homes. Welcome to the world of the smart, connected product.
“Digitization is eating the world.” And nowhere is that more apparent than in the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). Some call it the Industrial Internet (GE), the Internet of Everything or the Internet of Connected Things, but they all refer to any object which has become a complex system that combines hardware, sensors, data storage, microprocessors, software, connectivity, and even analytics in many different ways. Harvard Business Review refers to them as ‘smart connected products’ which have “unleashed a new era of competition.”
For facility management, it is not entirely new as we have been using sensors in building automation systems for years, but this represents an opportunity to pull all of the current disparate sub-systems (HVAC, lighting, security, elevators, window blinds/shades, fire/noxious gases detection, etc.) together not unlike we did in the early days of CAFM (80's) and IWMS (early 21st c) when we integrated all the functionality of niche, siloed systems together into one database application. Now we will go way beyond building automation with connectivity and real time input into IWMS from buildings, people and equipment as IoT is predicted to connect 28 billion 'things' to the Internet by 2020 and most of these objects will have some location information attached to them.
This means IoT will yield a tremendous amount of big data which will be feeding IWMS real-time and available for more relevant analytics for real property decision making. In June 2014, JLL commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the adoption rate and use of data and analytics within the corporate real estate (CRE) function. They surveyed 392 CRE execs across 11 countries and 10 industries, as well as 10 senior CRE execs in 5 countries and determined that data and analytics is critical to their business' success, but that current capabilities inhibit their ability to contribute to overall business strategy. The results revealed that now is the time to "seize the opportunity to lead in the broader organization and become more data centric." In a later IWMS Trend Blog on Analytics and Big Data we will be discussing this global research in more detail.
 Gil Press, Forbes Tech Blog, "The Internet of Things," December 15, 2014
 Porter, Michael A. and James E. Heppelmann, "How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition", Harvard Business Review, November 2014, p. 66.
 “Mind the Data Gap: Aspriration vs. Reality in Corporate Real Estate” Forrester Research, November 2014.