IDC Energy Insights published two complimentary Smart Building Maturity Model reports today, for vendors and for end users engaged in, or exploring new opportunities in this rapidly growing marketplace.  IDC Energy Insights’ goal with the maturity model is to provide a framework for understanding the ecosystem of Smart Building solutions and a tool for communicating the benefits of investing in increasingly sophisticated energy management technologies.

The market for Smart Buildings’ solutions has emerged and continues to grow rapidly due to the significant impact the energy costs associated with operating facilities have on businesses’ bottom lines.  From the end user perspective, the universal challenge of managing energy costs translates to very different opportunities for investment based on building or portfolio size, annual energy demand, local energy rates, facility infrastructure and strategic business drivers.  The Smart Buildings Maturity Model is a tool to help end users assess the sophistication of the energy management capabilities in their facilities and establish a set of priorities for investments.  The path toward becoming a Smart Building will most commonly be defined by iterative advancements in energy management; and the investments that support these improvements must meet the financial and business requirements of the particular set of decision-makers exploring the opportunity.  The Market Maturity Model provides these decision-makers with a framework for analyzing their investments opportunities.

From the vendor perspective, the Smart Buildings market represents significant growth opportunity for three main segments: information technology, building automation, and specialty energy management technology vendors.  The Smart Buildings Maturity Model will help vendors structure customer outreach to effectively communicate investment benefits.  In addition, the model will help vendors review the competitive landscape, and identify potential partnerships to engage early adopters in the market to grow market share.

IDC Energy Insights defines the Smart Buildings’ market in six technology verticals:

heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC),

lighting,

plug loads,

fire & security,

distributed energy resources,

analytics & data management.

Furthermore, we have defined a five point scale of maturity for each technology segment in terms of functionality.  The cornerstone of the Maturity Model is the idea that a truly optimized Smart Building will have fully integrated control and automation systems providing unprecedented visibility into facility operations for real-time adaptation to external signals and internally generated policies.  The Smart Building will manage energy and operational costs and at the same time support broader strategic business goals such as sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Commercial buildings consume around 20% of all energy consumed in the US.  As we look to new opportunities to manage our national energy demands and develop more responsible energy policies, energy efficiency has an important role to play.  The buildings segment cannot be overlooked, and Smart Buildings’ solutions represent the most innovative and comprehensive energy efficiency solutions for this market.  The Market Maturity Model provides a framework for exploring investment in Smart Building solutions that will support broad adoption of energy efficiency technologies in the commercial and industrial building sector.

This post originally appeared on IDC Energy Insights' Clean Energy Community:idc-insights-community.com/.../summary

Find more information about these reports here: www.idc-ei.com/getdoc.jsp