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Cloud Computing in FM – Q&A With MRI Software

Cloud Computing in FM – Q&A With MRI Software
02 August 2023

As consumers we take cloud-based computing for granted, but how can businesses leverage it to make cost savings?

We joined MRI Software to discuss how cloud-based systems and automation will help FMs to free up their schedule, the importance of accessing meaningful data and avoiding data isolation.

James Massey, Managing Director of Facilities Management for MRI Software, explained the power of seeing your data in one place and understanding the impact each element has on overall business performance.



Picture: a photograph of James Massey


What Does a Cloud-Based Environment Truly Mean?


A cloud-based environment means that IT overheads such as business continuity, managed upgrades, disaster recovery and backups are taken away from a business and managed via a cloud computing system, enabling the business to focus on its core competencies. Most businesses already use cloud computing in their operations as standard, via the use of Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and other platforms. 

The benefit of cloud computing is in the flexibility, as it’s always available and able to scale typically far faster than traditional physical deployments. The Monday-Friday, 9-5 IT support and on-premise provision of the past is no longer a best practice in the 24x7 dynamic response needs of the modern world. For example, MRI monitors over 18.5K servers globally 24x7, allowing systems to constantly interact and hyperconnect. Having a high availability and scalability of those services is absolutely paramount to success and the cloud is designed for just that type of need.


"Our expectations of cloud-based software in our everyday lives through smart doorbells, voice-activated speakers and intuitive entertainment also translate into the business world. People expect clean and simple interoperability, and that's exactly what cloud computing can help deliver."


How Does Connected Technology Thrive More in a Cloud-Based Environment?


I think cloud-hosted technology gives people the best possible experience, as it allows you to seamlessly interact with other products. If, for example, you’re running an FM provision but you want to move over to a property management system, if they're all hosted in the cloud, this is a simple change.

Our expectations of cloud-based software in our everyday lives through smart doorbells, voice-activated speakers and intuitive entertainment also translate into the business world. People expect clean and simple interoperability, and that's exactly what cloud computing can help deliver.

Intuitive BI, artificial intelligence and systems like Chat GPT will only ever truly consistently work if you can leverage the power of cloud computing. People are going to expect these technologies to be readily available and that will not work efficiently, or indeed at all, without being cloud-based.


How do we Avoid Data Isolation and Use Connected Technology to Make Sense of our Data?


Organisations are data-rich but often information poor. Huge amounts of data are available, but extracting the key information is another matter entirely. This can be avoided by better planning and design in the initial build of systems, keeping data goals in mind throughout.

Essentially, it’s important to consider why you’re gathering information in the first place. What kind of reports do your stakeholders want? How do you want them to access the data? How do you create clarity and simplicity so the message from the data is made clear? By keeping these questions in mind, you’ll avoid data isolation, which usually occurs because there’s too much data, incorrect data or data that's non-referenceable.


How Does FM Technology Help to Enable Automation and Stay Compliant at the Same Time?


Buildings are becoming smarter and more rooted in data – when connected with a core software platform many maintenance tasks can be automated. In MRI’s office on King Street in London, we've installed multiple sensors on each floor which connect to a smart ecosystem to control humidity. We’re also rolling out a Legionella monitoring product in our bathrooms, which makes sure water doesn’t go outside a designated temperature. All with thresholds or triggers that can be configured to meet regulations or agreed levels. These digital tools allow facilities to be managed in a way that is based on actual usage, alerts and real data rather than a standard repeat cycle. The data generated can then also populate dashboards and reports creating evidence of compliance and the potential to drive continual improvement in the metrics. This is what we are calling “digitally-driven maintenance”, which will drive truly dynamic and fluid facilities management.

Picture: a photograph of a hand that looks to be holding a small cityscape. Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 02 August 2023


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