• 22 Nov.2020
  • 5 min read

Is your Operations and Maintenance team missing out on the digital transformation initiatives? Here is how to plan for it

by Sumit Nawathe



Fear of missing out (FOMO) phenomena is generally associated with the millennials of the social media age. It’s a feeling of lagging behind in the competition, missing out on something important although not knowing what it is exactly.

Nowadays whenever we come across a blog post on CRE Technologies or Operation & maintenance best practices we often get the feeling that there is so much happening around digital transformation which of course has only accelerated post COVID but also there are other factors that have contributed to this growth. And then from somewhere, this FOMO pops into our mind and we start thinking, are we on the right track? Are we doing enough to reduce Operational cost? What insights am I missing on? How to optimize BMS data? How can I introduce predictive analytics to reduce reactive calls? Well if you’ve ever been to this situation then trust me you are not alone!

Facilities management is shifting from a low margin, labor-based business to a sustainable technology-driven one and as a result margins are shrinking, more contracts are being signed based on performance targets which have made FM to add digital thinking into their DNA.

Set up your goal:

First, identify what you want to drive from the transformation? What should the end result look like? Satisfied tenants? reduced reactive calls? Reduced unplanned breakdown? Gain a single view of all aspects of the facility? Most of the O&M teams find cost efficiency, energy management, and operational risk management as key baseline goals to achieve from digital transformation. Accordingly, plan for the budget, involve stakeholders who will be responsible for the transformation, and finalize a tentative timeline for each step.

The implementation roadmap should describe short and long-term expected business outcomes, scalable solution architecture, and strategies to address essential needs and gaps, such as data or system integration.

Asset Data and IT infrastructure:

Once you zeroed down on the expected result start thinking about how you will get there? What data is important and which applications will help you to deliver expected use cases? Do you have the dedicated IT team to support this transformation? Or which part would you like to outsource? This exercise will also determine which solution would be ideal for you on-premise or cloud-based. You will have to finalize this before you take the first step as your entire journey could crumble due to the weak IT strategy.

When it comes to data different sources could provide you valuable insights when interlinked. There is the performance and energy data of the assets, then there is data on how people are interacting with building services (such as work order, occupancy related information) that could draw interesting insights if clubbed together. One should refrain from analyzing them in a silo! I repeat do not keep them in a silo! This is a sweet spot where your operations, energy, and maintenance team can collaborate.

According to the report on smart spaces by cognizant “Many organizations have limited visibility across their real estate portfolio, with data about the status and maintenance of key processes and systems (such as HVAC, power, safety, and security) locked in siloed systems.

If you have invested in BMS then ensure you’re utilizing all the functionalities and most importantly extracting the asset data to be assessed independently. 

Connecting building infrastructure assets to a BMS allows for data analytics, asset optimization, and performance and cost efficiencies _ research done by mitie technical services.

That can be further amplified by allowing third-party applications to inspect and analyze the data. The more open your data architecture is better for further integration and scalability.

Start small think big:

Considering the whole pandemic situation, we don’t have the liberty to take more time for brainstorming and come up with a comprehensive plan. We have to act NOW so start with the pilot projects, breakdown your transformation journey into small steps that align with your current immediate business needs. allocate a budget and team to monitor the progress. Do not shy away from taking a demo of an application even if it comes into the third or fourth step of our journey, that will only help you understand whether you are on the right track or not.    

We hope this article would help you reduce that FOMO and show you ways to lead digital transformation at your facility. If you like this article and found it insightful enough to share it with your peers then don’t hesitate a bit! If you have any suggestions or want us to talk to our facility management team on what’s inevitable in digital transformation then feel free to write to us at sumit.nawathe@xempla.io

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