Although the major
impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) may be three-to-five years away, the
technology is gathering speed as an influential business disrupter. It is
already transforming the way buildings are maintained and offices managed, as
well as impacting the way employees perform in the workplace.
Its advent is making wired,
Wi-Fi and indoor mobile connectivity essential for any competitive workplace.
IoT connects physical
objects embedded with sensors, software and connectivity to the Internet. It
makes possible collection and analysis of huge amounts of data about not only
the physical environment, but about how humans are interacting within it.
Applying intelligent analytics provides data that is actionable,
allowing managers to make better informed decisions.
The main principles of IoT
are: a continuous collecting of information from objects; aggregation of data
points for analysis; and the use of this data to better understand the
For a facility operator,
collecting and applying intelligence to building-wide sensor data can help simplify
and streamline building maintenance. Applied using occupancy sensors, it can
also help cut building OPEX, curtailing energy and HVAC use only to those areas
that require it, and using advanced scheduling and predictive analytics to lower
Sensor based IoT is
already being adopted by a number of companies to transform their office
Offices that have
adopted IoT can respond to changes in the office rather than adhere to a fixed
schedule. For example, a company will now empty bins only in spaces that have
been occupied or refill coffee, ink, soap and toiletries only when needed.
Lighting, heating and ventilation bills have all been reduced by changing
office workplace practices and habits through smartphone and tablet dashboards
driven with office IoT data. Offices adopting IoT based management are providing
cleaner, more pleasant places to work, as well as cheaper and easier to run. Businesses will
increasingly see IoT enabled workplaces, and their associated lower cost of
operation, as a prerequisite in a competitive facility.
IoT will also become
more embedded into employees' lives. Their smartphones will connect them
continuously to their smart homes, connected cars, intelligent transport
updates, as well as providing them with updates on their children's or
All of this --
infrastructure operations, office management, and employees' lifestyle -- will
make building-wide connectivity ever more important as the IoT assumes as major a role in business and everyday life as the internet already
occupies. For facility operators, the IoT makes high quality,
seamless connectivity across wired, Wi-Fi and indoor mobile even more a key
aspect of their competitive advantage.