What’s the definition of IoT or the Internet of Things as we know it? From the coffeepot, to the washer to home lighting, the Internet of things (IoT) assists with managing our lifestyles by connecting appliances and other home and personal objects to the Internet. These same devices can be recognized by other devices, managed through the internet, and contribute to data collection to help grow sales, develop new products and cut costs. For many companies looking to the future, it’s inevitable that more and more devices will be connected. According to The Economist, in the next three years 95 percent of high-level executives surveyed will start an IoT business. Think of it this way; if smart homes, wearable technologies like Fitbit and smart cars are already here, how long before smart technologies for commercial building management are adapted and begin to revolutionize the industry as we know it.
Regardless of the standards and conventions selected by the building management industry, IoT or smart technology has the potential to change building maintenance and management forever in these areas:
- Healthcare facilities
- University campuses
- Business franchises
Here are some of the ways it can possibly impact building management:
- Just as residential homes are adapting quickly to IoT devices and other smart technologies, commercial buildings will greatly benefit from building IoT. Grids can be monitored with laptops, smartphones and other devices via the internet. Besides collecting data, the management of sensors and equipment maintenance can be set by automated software. Identifying energy usage, and its demand, can now be monitored and set according to energy prices and make it easier to adhere to compliance policy.
- Security / Physical & Logical Access Control. Software integrated into electric grids, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning will need the latest security since other smaller devices can be connected to its network via laptops, Smartphones and iPads for monitoring and maintenance. Increase in connections via the Internet increases the points of entry for cybersecurity threats. To assume any building management system is safe because it’s isolated is no longer valid. With meters, access control devices, sensors and actuators connections to building management automation and its software must go beyond the standard best practice and security protections. Users will expect the smart device to not only apply to standards of building management but be able to get it up and running on a network and have it work with all the standards, conventions and security applied.
- Reporting performance analysis, fault detections, and scheduled maintenance based on system and device monitoring are just a few of a user’s expectations when it comes to building automation or building management and the IoT. Needless to say, spotting lapses in productivity, security and maintenance can reduce waste, decrease costs and mitigate potential risks.
These three big impacts towards smart buildings and IoT just scratch the surface of the potential savings and the ROI many can expect moving forward. According to the Pew Center for Internet Research, the Internet of Things will only continue to grow linking machines and devices to other machines and devices, and hopefully, connect people with vital resources, opportunity and a need to extinguish the complex lives we live with convenience.