O&M
  • 04 Jun.2021
  • 4 min read
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Remote Asset Management: ways to make facilities self-reliant

by Meghna Vasudevan

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For a generation that has learned PLC or SCADA in their graduation or engineering courses, remote asset management as a concept and its applications are fairly understood and practical in nature. However, in the last 5-10 years, some various technologies and circumstances have pivoted the growth of remote monitoring to a vast range of sectors.  

If we have to choose such key 3 technological advancements that have led to the growth of remote monitoring then it can be as follows:

1. Cloud storage & processing capabilities   

2. IoT based sensors and communication devices

3. Rise of mobile applications  

But before we discuss those 3 technology trends and other demand drivers that almost made Remote monitoring the second most popular buzzword after the digital transformation, let’s examine what remote monitoring really implies?

What comes under Remote Monitoring?


Remote asset management aka remote Monitoring refers to smart building automation systems that can be accessed, monitored, and controlled through cloud-based systems from any location outside of the facility premise. 

As per the definition, it is nothing but a combination of various technologies that sense, collect, transmit, analyze and report to the facility manager on how the assets or workplaces are operating or behaving to the changes without a need of O&M team to physically inspect the site. Smart sensors and analytics monitor your buildings around the clock, keeping them safe whether they’re empty or occupied.

Since the scope of applications for Remote monitoring is expanding the market for the same is also expected to increase, according to the market research firm, MarketsandMarkets The global market for IoT-enabled remote asset management solutions is predicted to grow from US$16.5 billion in 2020 to US$32.6 billion by 2025.

Why remote monitoring is getting traction?


Although this is not a surprise for most of us, a decent engagement around the remote asset monitoring was there even before the COVID situation. But out of 4 key drivers, the latest one which is related to the health and indoor environment of the facility is often considered pivotal for the rise of remote asset monitoring.

There could be 4 major drivers that are responsible for the growth of remote monitoring applications

A. Changing Tenant’s expectations
Gone those days where a tenant used to call a help desk or shoot an email to change room temperature or register any issues with the surveillance system. Tenants/occupants want more control over their office environment. From booking a meeting room to set up a projector in the conference room they want everything available on their workplace management app. 

Certainly the same is expected when it comes to notifying any issues with the HVAC or elevators. Real-time monitoring of critical assets can not be possible without having them linked to a remote monitoring network.   

B. Technology
As we mentioned earlier cloud-based platforms and applications, access to customizable IoT devices and a mobile-first economy is providing a suitable environment for remote asset management applications to penetrate across all type of facilities.

Earlier many technology vendors were following closed protocols that would not allow third-party systems to be installed within their ecosystems. However, since the last couple of years vendors are recognizing the importance of open & public protocol for the scalability and integration capability of their applications.   

C. Cost economics
Every portfolio manager, Operations head, and facility manager have one common element in their KRAs, which is the Operational cost. It’s all about how to improve the efficiency and the overall life of the asset, how to reduce unexpected breakdowns, How to reduce additional work hours, and deliver a seamless experience to the tenant at no additional cost. Remote management not only reduces the redundant physical inspection cycles of the technician it also gives better control over a range of assets on a real-time basis. 

D. Building reopening policies
As buildings are reopening there could be multiple situations that may call for remote access into a building’s HVAC or other operational systems. Facility managers are needed to be able to make decisions and implement them without being available on-site all the time to monitor, review or assess the assets operating condition. O&M teams may be needed to manage the facility with limited staff, different occupancies, and unforeseen operational situations.  

It has been seen that the facilities which had sophisticated BMS/BAS system available even before the pandemic, were much more adaptive in handling the challenges caused by the lockdown situation. 

How a facility manager can leverage remote asset monitoring to do more?


With all the improvement indicators, it becomes even more important for a facility manager to examine the prospects of remote asset monitoring for his facility. To support the argument we can come up with two ways a facility manager can reap more benefits out of remote asset monitoring.

  1. Improve building Performance 

Road to building automation goes from different stages of data and process maturity. In order to access asset-level insights from the remote location all the initial stage of building automation needs to be fulfilled. In the process, the facility improves on various aspects such as – Deployment of sensors to collect operational data, Data centralization, Automated reporting, and predictive insights on asset performance. 

Facility wide single dashboard continuously monitors all integrated data points and gives insight into the area that matters to you. you can track the asset, see performance forecasting and respond early to prevent the breakdown, with that you send relevant technicians to fix a problem or even enable remote fixing from your location.

  1. Lower the operational cost

Sometimes having access to the right data can have a big impact on the performance of the O&M team, According to NIST’s research facility technicians spend 15% of their time simply searching for the right facility data. With remote monitoring, they can identify issues and act upon them at a record time.  The use of IoT technology and AI-driven control applications provide transparency into real-time operations and give a holistic view of building operations. This will unlock unprecedented levels of efficiency while reducing long-term operational costs. 

Are your facility using remote asset management? Let us know your experience and the benefits your team has reaped so far. Want to know how your asset data can be better leveraged with the help of data analytics? Reach out to us at sumit.nawathe@xempla.io 

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