Futuristic outlook for the Facilities Management sector

31 January 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202017744

Automation & Robotics
Heating, Cooling & Ventilation
ICT In Industry
Property – Commercial & Industrial

TECHNOLOGY and innovation will continue to transform the Facilities Management (FM) industry, with integrated facilities management solutions company Servest anticipate between 6% and 10% growth in hard services in the sector.

That’s according to Group Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions Director, Thami Moatshe, who added that infrastructure development and smart cities remain an area of focus for governments and property developers as evidenced by the number of bids in 2019 such as the Bisho PPP and Kopanong.

The company conducted research around FM trends that will shape the year ahead. Moatshe detailed several of these innovations that he believes will continue to disrupt the evolving FM landscape.

The Internet of Things (IoT). It has become the driver to enable automaton and connectivity in buildings and facilities. For those who can leverage its full potential, it will play a significant role towards cost reduction, improved efficiency, as well as strategic positioning across the infrastructure development and real estate management.

Drones are changing the way in which the world works, from healthcare to transport and logistics as well as FM. With a vast number of applications in the FM industry, Drones can be used to improve speed of execution, quality of service as well as operational, financial and safety performance.

There have been interesting innovations around Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, especially among forward thinking FM companies that understand the impact of HVAC in providing comfort in the workplace. Energy efficiency, predictive maintenance regimes and machine learning contribute significantly towards cost savings and environmental benefits.

Real Estate investment will intensify in 2020 as a means to catch up with the 2019 infrastructure backlog, and in turn the demand for professional FM expertise is expected to increase proportionately.

Cloud-based FM solutions will also increase, as a result of growing usage of mobile applications as well as an increase in utilisation of virtual and shared workspaces.

We expect Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics to continue to grow in 2020. Although the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) remains a challenge, especially for a country with one of the highest unemployment rate figures, the reality is that use of automation and robotics will continue to rise. The onus is upon employers and governments to work together to develop the necessary skills required for a 4IR-ready workforce.

We also anticipate an increase in safety and security innovations, and large investments channelled towards safety, security and access control innovations such as facial recognition and biometrics. Thought leaders will begin to explore opportunities for partnerships and collaboration to leverage the full potential that technology presents in this space.

These innovations will enforce integrated solutions thinking in facilities design, resulting in increased maintainability and cost optimisation for our clients. We anticipate more design focus on space optimisation, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly buildings, and embracing digital transformation.

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