Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 9 No 4 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 9 NUMBER 4 35
As companies grow, there is the
distinct possibility that their
goods or services will diversify.
Apple, for example, was created as a
computer company, but is now a giant in the
With the convergence of industries within
individual companies, facilities managers will need
to be aware of the requirements of each sector.
This includes taking into account the physical
infrastructure that each tenant requires, as well
as the human factors that each incorporates.
Whether new spaces need to be created to house
these now multi-industrial organisations, or an
effective reconfiguration of existing spaces is
needed, it will be important to cater to the further
evolution of these companies.
With changes to industry, it will be
important for managers to spot trends, and
to predict changes before they happen.
While the specific changes themselves will
drive innovation in facilities management,
considering future possibilities will reduce
costs, and will reduce the necessity for
changes in physical infrastructure later on.
With the increased reliance on technology,
trends centred on big data, storage
capabilities, and internal networking will be a
particularly important focus.
Big data is a blessing and a curse for
facilities management. On one hand, the
technological requirements for information
storage will affect staffing requirements in
different teams, such as IT, and will also
require the creation of new teams to deal
with the specifics of the data gathered. It
will impact on the physical infrastructure
of a facility, as data retention will often be
required on site. On the other hand, such
comprehensive data, with effective analysis,
can highlight areas that management needs
to focus on. Data can be used for in-depth
assessment of operations and maintenance,
and to build models for ongoing
management and future proposed facilities.
Often, the people on the frontline --
the tenant and its employees -- will have
the best idea of which infrastructures
are working, and which are not. By
encouraging engagement with employees
and contractors, managers will find a more
enthusiastic and involved workforce, as well
as a more holistically constructed facility.
Whatever work culture is put in place, it
needs to be just as accepting of the needs
and views of employees as it is of executives.
By integrating the knowledge of employees
at all levels of a given organisation, managers
will find a greater breadth of ideas, which in
turn will lead to greater innovation.
Due to the economics of globalisation,
facilities managers will more frequently be
required to deal with, and within, a range of
different regions and cultures. This interaction
will be important across all facets of any
project, as suppliers, industry partners, and
staff or contractors will often come from, or
be located in, different parts of the world.
The impact of globalisation may
mean that managers will need to
alter their management techniques to
integrate cultural nuances, or learn new
communication skills to better understand
the requirements of all parties.
In globalised organisations, where
management roles will be important in all
locations, facilities managers should consider
international positions in order to better
equip themselves with these necessary skills.
The disparate nature of globalised teams
means that collaboration is taking on a
whole new meaning. The future brings
greater reliance on technological methods of
collaboration, including video conferencing,
application-specific software, and networking
apps that integrate both desktop and mobile
interfaces. Through the integration of these
technologies, managers will be able to stay
at the leading edge of innovation, and will
constantly have up-to-date information and
data on the facilities that they manage.
Innovation is the key to continued success
in any facet of business. Facilities managers
need to focus on innovation now more than
ever, as technology becomes more integrated,
and requirements for facilities evolve.
Facilities managers have the potential to be at
the forefront of technological innovation due
to the specific inherent needs of their facilities.
Whether these innovations respond to general
needs, or are site- or application-specific,
they have the potential to create new, more
streamlined processes for future construction
and maintenance projects.
In keeping with the mentality of innovation
is the widespread acceptance of automation.
Many aspects of life are becoming increasingly
automated, and society is slowly changing
to integrate this mentality. By automating
particular features of a given facility, managers
have the ability to better utilise their facility
and their workforce. Automation of menial or
repetitive tasks will allow managers to redirect
their staff to the more complex, decision-
reliant tasks that are required at all levels of
Moving into the next 12 months, the
key term to focus on is 'evolution'.
Whether it relates to management style,
technological integration, or innovative
facility solutions, the need for adaptability
and growth is integral to the future of
As the world changes and technology becomes increasingly integrated into all levels of society, the face
of facilities management is changing. Far from being a stagnant industry, facilities management is
continually evolving to meet business and societal requirements. While needs vary between industries,
certain trends in this evolution remain consistent across the board. These trends will affect all areas of
management, from the inception of projects, through to the ongoing maintenance and expansion of
facilities. While many of these trends have been building for years, they are becoming more prominent
in all industries, and are important factors to consider over the next 12 months.
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