We are well into a new era – the information age. The global datasphere is expected to grow to an amazing 175 Zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. For those of us that can’t even begin to understand the scope and size of this, a Zettabyte is a billion Terrabytes (One terabyte hard drives are standard in desktop and laptop computers).
The Internet of Things (IoT) and IoT devices are expected to be responsible for 90 ZB of the 175 or just over 50% of the data to be collected and stored by 2025. The implications of big data on every aspect of our lives are not yet fully understood, but we know from what is happening right now that the IoT and the data it collects are quickly revolutionizing many industries.
Are you aware of how IoT devices can improve the maintenance and overall wellbeing of a facility? Keep reading to be amazed at what this exploding trend can do for buildings and the business we conduct in them.
What Is The Internet of Things?
You have no doubt heard of the IoT at some point, but what exactly is an IoT device and what are they used for? Basically, an IoT device is any device that collects and sends data over the internet.
We have come so far in the past 30 years with smartphones giving us instant access to humanity’s collective knowledge and wisdom. The IoT is only the next logical step. IoT connected devices are the answer to a data-hungry society with the expectation that our environment should be smart enough to communicate with us and even take care of us – without us even needing to ask.
According to Gartner Research, 65% of the world’s professional organizations are already using the IoT in their day to day operations. The modern workplace is evolving to be highly connected and centrally controlled for new levels of operational efficiency.
The IoT and all these billions of devices collecting information coupled with advances in deep learning AI provide answers to difficult challenges for modern-day businesses – such as better facility maintenance.
IoT Devices for Better Facility Maintenance
Much like how our bodies are vital to our lives, the facility is vital to the organization it shelters. In this day and age of capitalism and the global market, it is growingly apparent the importance of keeping every aspect of the business healthy and operating at its best.
Facility maintenance is often swept under the rug, so to speak, when companies look to improve their operations. This is largely due to the fact that until the emergence of IoT technologies the role of facility maintenance was much more limited. That is changing fast.
The responsibility of facility maintenance is vast in its scale considering the entire building and everything that goes into keeping it operating. You simply can not be everywhere all the time, or can you?
The beauty of the IoT devices is that they are always watching and collecting data. Crunching this data gives facility managers the big picture. Human resources are better allocated when we can access this information easily.
Take cleaning crews for example. Going from room to room and giving each the same attention seems highly inefficient when IoT devices can give you a report of the areas of the building that have been used most often the previous day.
Monitoring and Analyzing Environmental Conditions
Utilizing an IoT sensor infrastructure, a building becomes a virtual sponge of valuable information. A good example of this is lighting. Lighting connected independently yet centrally controlled gives light only where it is needed saving considerably on electricity costs.
Not only lighting but every aspect of the environment can be monitored and energy consumption data collected through internet-connected sensors. With the help of advanced AI software, the building can essentially learn how to use its connected equipment to more efficiently:
- Maintain heating and cooling (HVAC)
- Fresh air circulation
- Monitor air quality
All essential utilities are much more effective and efficient if they work together. IoT devices can be controlled automatically to open and close window blinds and vents at the optimal times to better control the temperature of various locations within the facility.
Safety and Security
A safe work environment is, of course, an essential consideration for facility management professionals. It is a dangerous world and both accidents and crime are commonplace.
Everything from security cameras to fire alarms are connecting to the internet to provide real-time protection to those in the building. A smart building, utilizing various sensors, provides a level of security that even a large force of security personnel would have trouble matching.
The IoT is capable of being a security blanket that covers every public place and communicates potential danger to the facility to us instantly. For example, let’s say that there is a faulty wire in part of the facility.
Sensors monitoring and looking for any subtle changes in the electrical system of the building can immediately send an instant message to a smartphone of the potential hazard. The wire can then be located and replaced before it starts a devastating fire.
IoT for Maintenance
Depending on the size and function of the building there can easily be dozens of appliances and equipment that need proper servicing and maintenance. Smart sensors that constantly monitor the functions of equipment connect centrally to one steady data stream.
Any variation or unusual readings alert facility management professionals of any potential maintenance issues. Early detection of these issues saves businesses from costly shutdowns or equipment repairs that could have been prevented.
Smarter Buildings for the Future
One thing is for sure – the world around us is getting smarter. A future where the very buildings we work in, empowered by IoT devices, are working around the clock to make our lives easier is already well on its way.
Facility managers can expect IoT devices to continue to make their jobs easier, more important, and increasingly satisfying as the technology develops over the next decade. MPL Consulting Services seeks to use digital technology to maximize efficiency in every part of your business.
Schedule a meeting or contact us today and let’s talk about using cutting edge technology to improve your business.