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Connected Buildings Increase as Companies Prioritize Advantages

June 19, 2019

While energy efficiency is still one of the main drivers for investing in connected building technologies, a new survey by technology research firm IDC indicates that adding building intelligence is another strong priority.

While energy efficiency is still one of the main drivers for investing in connected building technologies, a new survey by technology research firm IDC, Challenges of Implementing Connected Building Projects, indicates that adding building intelligence is another strong priority.

What Do We Mean by ‘Intelligence?

Once connected, a building can transcend its role as a fixed asset, evolving into a strategic asset, providing information and rich data for improving business processes and generating new revenue streams.

How many companies are deploying these connected buildings? According to the IDC survey, some 30% of building-management companies have deployed a connected building solution to date; another 60% are considering it.

The IDC Infographic, Challenges of Implementing Connected Building Projects, (sponsored by Acuity Brands), was based on a survey of 206 decision-makers in IT and business operations across North America in an effort to understand how they view specific issues related to connected building technologies.

Motivations for connecting differ

One of the key findings from the survey is that different decision-makers have distinct reasons for connecting a building, but all survey participants designate security and safety improvements as a top priority.

In general, approvals for connected building projects are made according to the following objectives:

  • Improve security
  • Reduce operations and maintenance costs for customers and/or tenants
  • Improve business productivity and efficiency
  • Provide faster response times to building system issues
  • Increase worker and user safety

The motivating factors for implementing these technologies differ among IT, C-suite and facilities/building-management decision-makers. But, if united for their building and business needs, these groups can make a strong business case for connected-building technologies.

[Related: Connected Buildings Save Money, Improve Tenant Experience]

Separately, these decision-makers own their departmental budgets and can make siloed impacts to pursue technological advancements. Therefore, there is a clear benefit across the building, systems and corporate functions to align the strategy and budget allocations for the prioritized connected building technologies.

Connected Building Technology Priorities by Decision-Maker

As for funds spent on connecting a building, they differ widely according to the size of the firm surveyed by the IDC. 

The median spend for companies with 1,000 to 4,999 employees is $1.75 million for connected building technologies. For those companies employing 5,000 up to 9,999 employees, the median spend is $3.75 million. And, for large companies with more than 10,000 employees, connected building technologies can require as much as $7.5 million to implement.

Median Spend for Connected Building Technologies Based on Employee Numbers:

  • 1,000-4,999 employees: $1.75 million
  • 5,000-9,999 employees: $3.75 million 
  • 10,000+ employees: can be as high as $7.5 million

These findings demonstrate the inherent alignment of IT, business management and facility management executives who share mutual objectives for implementing connected building technology.

Given the proper funding and maintenance over its life cycle, a building can serve the business well into the future when it becomes a connected asset.

Read also: Provider Trust Critical to Overcoming Connected Building Challenges

About the Author:

Monica M. Weglicki, former Sr. Manager Analyst and Media Relations, Thought Leadership, Acuity Brands

Monica Weglicki was responsible for the creative ideation and strategic development of the IoT-enabled lighting, platform, and connected building systems program for select media, customer and analyst audiences. She has spent the breadth of her 15+ year career focused in technology or technology-related roles where she has performed across the demand generation functions.

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