Experience is a big deal for facility managers, and rightfully so. Experience can help you make the best decision on a building system you’ll be living with for a long time. Experience can make it possible for someone on your staff to detect problems just by listening to equipment run. And experience has shaped the ways that workplaces balance employee preferences with business needs.
But what happens in times of change? In my opinion, experience remains essential, but as old experience becomes less relevant, new experience has to replace it. The trick is becoming efficient at developing a new background appropriate to new conditions.
I’ve been spending some time trying to learn about one source of change: the emerging Building Internet of Things (IoT). As is often the case, when you start looking at one sort of change, you find that it’s part of a larger pattern.
The Building IoT is offering facility managers a range of new choices. And those unfamiliar options may be coming from companies with interesting but cryptic names that you probably know next to nothing about. It can be daunting just trying to figure out how to get started. The good news is that you don’t have to rely solely on your own experience. A first step is to start gathering information, online, at conferences, and from magazine articles like mine in this month’s issue.
As you start gathering information, you’ll see that the availability of new technology is only one factor driving the Building IoT. In addition to the supply of new technology, there’s also demand that this new stuff can help to meet. One example of that demand is the need some companies have to attract and retain millennials. Organizations are looking to facilities to help achieve that goal, and the Building IoT may be able to help, in part because the technology can be pretty cool. “Cool” isn’t a reason to install a product, but it’s a plus for one that addresses building-performance or other business needs. New supply, new demand ... now may be a good time to get ahead of the curve on the Building IoT.