With commercial buildings responsible for most energy use in the U.S., more companies are turning to smart building platforms to gain control over their assets. However, deciding to invest in an enterprise smart building platform is not the same as selecting a standard platform. Facility Managers need to know what to expect from a high-quality enterprise smart building platform and how to leverage it to drive cost avoidance and improved total cost of ownership.
Challenges in Selecting an Enterprise Smart Building Platform
The challenges of selecting an enterprise smart building platform derive from the lack of such platforms in use. Facility Managers may just be unaware of the capabilities possible within smart building solutions, and this may lead to selecting the first system on the radar. An enterprise smart building platform leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline facilities management and manage cost control.
The biggest challenges of selecting a high-quality platform arise from trouble gaining shareholder support and the perceived high investment cost. However, the solution to both problems lies in understanding the typical time to gain an ROI on the investment in the smart building solution. Investments into smart building solutions typically achieve payback well within three years, asserts Atul Mandvariya, but some companies may achieve payback in less than two years. It all depends on the level of wasted resources and inefficiencies before implementing a program. Another problem involves the potential applications of IoT-enabled devices. According to Janelle Penny of Buildings.com, any device with an on-off switch can be connected to the IoT, resulting in greater efficiency and savings.
Functions Critical to Successful Smart Building Solutions
As explained by Ed Sullivan of FacilitiesNet, successful smart building solutions should contain these capabilities:
- An effective enterprise smart building platform will leverage descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics to empower Facilities Managers. These referred to the “what happened, what might happen, and what should happen,” insights.
- Automation and manual processes. With the level of technology readily available at the disposal of Facilities Managers, an enterprise smart building platform should leverage automation to reduce inefficiencies and streamline operations. Of course, some manual processes will continue (ex. adjusting settings based on feedback from analytics and shareholders)
- The use of an application programming interface is essential for organizations using their own analytics systems and a vendor-provided platform, such as ENTOUCH.one™.
- Remote access. Cloud computing enables remote access of a modern smart building platform, and it should be the cornerstone of all functions within the system.
Benefits of Enterprise Smart Building Solutions
Leveraging an enterprise smart building platform will also offer unique benefits to Facility Managers, team members and guests, including:
- IoT-connected HVAC and lighting save money.
- Air quality improvements.
- Occupants are more comfortable.
- Use of water and supplies decreases.
- Facility Managers can oversee and manage distributed facilities from a single platform.
Take Advantage of Connected, Smart Building Platform Now
For those with limited experience, a comprehensive smart building solution with managed services, such as ENTOUCH.360™, is ideal. Facilities Managers can gain visibility into energy usage, maintenance costs and overall asset health by visiting ENTOUCH online or calling 1-800-820-3511 today.