Just a fifth (21 per cent) said that they believe they will have to implement more technology in order to remain competitive.
ThisWeekinFM spoke to Mike Green, who has thirty-eight years of experience specialising in FM building services, consultancy and contracting and Kiran Kachela, Managing Director of Continuous Improvement Projects and change management specialist, about this apparent lack of digital adoption.
Watch the video below:
“Tenants, landlords and occupiers will be more interested in the way space management is handled than ever before. How are they going to control and manage this on a day by day basis? Technology of course."
FM Consultant and TEMA Chair
Tech-Savvy Occupiers Will Drive Change
Mike Green feels that adoption of technology will be driven by the tech-savvy building occupiers of the future. He told us: “Technology is now found benefiting almost every business sector you care to mention, yet our so-called leaders in this industry feel they know better, can this really be the case?
“We are seeing technology in use all around us, buildings have been built to be ‘smart’. This is not a flash in the pan, it’s here and here to stay.”
"Later this year, it is likely that workplaces will begin to be re-occupied but not in the same fashion as we did pre-pandemic. They will be finding new ways of bringing their staff together – online, suburban and provincial hubs springing up, and co-working spaces will probably be more popular.
“Tenants, landlords and occupiers will be more interested in the way space management is handled than ever before. How are they going to control and manage this on a day by day basis? Technology of course.
“We already have a tech-savvy audience, but let’s not forget the occupiers coming through. There will be at least two new cohorts of young people leaving university that are tech-savvy and will expect their workplace to reflect their 'norm' of always being connected. Its only natural that some of these people will migrate to FM as a career, and their influence will be significant.”
Is Digital Change Intimidating?
Picture: a photograph of Kiran Kachela
Kiran Kachela, Managing Director of Continuous Improvement Projects and change management specialist, added that the notion of adopting new processes can be daunting.
She told us: “It is concerning to see such a high level of scepticism about new technology in the FM industry, but not all that surprising. Radical change can be intimidating, and that’s particularly the case when it comes to IT.
“It is true that many companies feel burned by previous digital change. Time and again, we see ill-conceived transformation projects that fail to optimise digital solutions.”
This is an opinion very much echoed by Colin Crow, Managing Director of Sigma Dynamics, who added: “It is unfortunately quite common for businesses to choose the wrong technologies, or roll them out without enough support for employees, which can be very costly mistakes.
Kachela continued: “The key is to identify areas of the business that would benefit from improvement, and include all aspects of change in the implementation, which may include new technology, but also people, processes, strategy and customers.”
“It is concerning to see such a high level of scepticism about new technology in the FM industry, but not all that surprising. Radical change can be intimidating, and that’s particularly the case when it comes to IT."
Green agreed that with digital change comes many benefits, and spoke about the effect of technology on his clients’ bottom line, and the true value of the data smart technology can provide:
“Energy management has already adopted cloud-based AI-backed analytical software to provide accurate, super fast savings. The ROI question is no longer an issue. Building Technology has a direct impact on our clients’ businesses bottom line, it improves physical and mental health and increases resource productivity whilst decreasing absenteeism.
“And then of course there is the residual value of all that data that will come out of our buildings. The large multinational managing agents such as CBRE, JLL, Cushman and Avison Young hold the keys to huge swathes of global commercial square footage of built environment. From which, it is possible to draw down occupational trends that affect revenues of the institutional investors that own these assets.
“For years FM has served these agents and investors and done as they instructed. I wonder what the next instruction will be?
Picture: a graphic showing a world map, with images of city skyscrapers
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 04 March 2021
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