Facility optimization means the ability to improve equipment, building and operational performance by optimizing resource use. Here are five market trends to be aware of if you're looking to optimize your facilities.

Facilities use energy, often lots of it and not in an efficient way. Energy is a major factor in the cost of doing business, and facility optimization is a buzzword du jour.  In simple terms, it means the ability to improve equipment, building and operational performance by optimizing resource use.

An effective facility optimization program assesses and fixes the root cause of immediate problems and also addresses energy waste. The benefits are immediate, setting you up for more predictable operational cost management.

As such, this space has become a major focus for the energy management software market, including (for complete transparency) companies like mine.

Internet of things (IoT) sensors are precipitating this drift and unlocking unprecedented amounts of data at a lower cost than ever before. They are also providing it in real-time, which means that on the spot decisions can be made.

However, we all know that data is only as powerful as what you do with it, which is where innovative analytical software comes in, enabling facility and building managers to make smarter, data driven decisions because they have access to it in a format which provides actionable business insight.

If used properly, these insights will result in tangible business outcomes which are good for the planet and the company bottom line.

If you are considering dipping your toe in the facility optimization ocean, I’ve distilled today’s top five market trends for you:

1)     It has more value than energy efficiency alone

According to a recent McKinsey study, respondents believed that enterprise IoT for service operations would produce the most value in the following three areas, diagnostics and prognostics, predictive maintenance and monitoring and inspection. This tells us that reducing operational expenditure (maintenance) and capital expenditure (equipment and buildings) are bigger incentives to consider facility data and analytics software than energy management alone.

2)     Energy efficiency is still critical in facilities monitoring

Energy use certainly helps to highlight poorly performing building systems which would benefit significantly from optimization solutions. We conducted a poll following a webinar series on boosting asset and facility performance, with 78 per cent of respondents citing energy efficiency as their main driver for monitoring asset performance.

3)     Adopting solutions has been hampered by data and budget silos – but it needn’t be

Inevitably, implementing any new software requires collaboration between different stakeholders, and systems which can be tricky to navigate.  Exacerbating this further is often levels of IT infrastructure which don’t talk to each other. Argh! As a result, some organizations opt for sub optimal stand-alone solutions which fall well short of the benefits a broad based solution can offer. Don’t let this apply to your organization, a capability gap in adopting enterprise IoT into existing business flows needn’t exist if you choose the right data and analytics software which will ‘sit on top’ of anything already in place.

4)     Teamwork makes the dream work

A simple place to start in achieving the full potential of facility optimization is with an interdisciplinary team bringing together different stakeholders to bridge knowledge gaps, resolve issues and align goals. This is more than technological innovation, it is the exciting frontier of business transformation.

5)     Make a specialist software provider your first ‘go to’

In an independent report of facility optimization software, 43 per cent of respondents said that their firm preference would be to purchase software from a specialist software provider, ahead of a facility management firm, large tech firm or specialist energy firm with software.

Looking for more guidance on how you can optimize your facilities? Contact us for more information.

This article first appeared on the GRESB Insights Blog