Navigant Research Blog

Building the Future through Digitization

Casey Talon — April 25, 2016

modern square and skyscrapersBy and large, commercial buildings are inefficient. Owners and operators manage hefty energy bills, suboptimal maintenance processes, and varying levels of dissatisfaction from occupants. Intelligent building solutions are an alternative to the status quo for building operations, and recent trends suggest we are facing a tipping point for technology adoption. Simplicity in execution and non-energy benefits will help customers take the plunge to begin transforming their facilities into intelligent buildings, and it’s all centered around the idea of digitization.

Navigant Research is bullish on the outlook for intelligent buildings. The rapid adoption of building energy management systems (BEMSs) has been a central indicator of the demand for data-driven solutions to the challenges of operating commercial buildings. In fact, Navigant Research estimates the revenue for these software analytics solutions will reach nearly $11 billion dollars by 2024, a 18% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2015. This optimistic outlook on a cornerstone of the intelligent buildings market reflects the overarching assertion that digitization is transforming the buildings industry.

What Is a Digitized Building?

If software is a cornerstone of the intelligent building, it’s built on data. BEMSs have been helping building owners and managers improve operations for about a decade. As with any emerging technology area, the market continues to evolve. These software offerings are becoming more powerful as facilities become truly data-rich environments; this evolution is itself an effect of digitization.

The old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” may be a bit extreme, but in reality, digitization is an anecdote that helps intelligent building solutions deliver business improvements. An infrastructure of devices for sensing, controlling, and communicating equipment and facility use data is redefining the capabilities of intelligent building software. You’ve inevitably heard the buzz surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT); but in the intelligent buildings market, the IoT is not just buzz—it’s the construct for actionable information. An IoT intelligent building platform is defined by digital devices that enable software analytics to compute actionable information.

Why Will Digitization Make a Difference?

What this means is that these advanced sensors, controllers, and communications gateways acquire, analyze, and transmit data that in turn helps decision makers set priorities and rely with confidence on automated system improvement. Major technology providers are redefining their value through the lenses of digitization and IoT.

On April 1, Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire kicked off the Innovation Summit in Paris, where digitization was front and center. The technology giant is positioning to supply technologies that catalyze industry transition for a world that is “more electric, more digitized, more decarbonized, and more decentralized.” Schneider argues this pathway to the future is critical to meet the demands of a growing population against the pressures of climate change and resource limitations. The company also released a new IoT 2020 Business Report, arguing this new technology landscape represents “a new era of meaningful opportunities.”

Actionable insights, meaningful opportunities—these ideas are the crux of value in digitization. Customers can be bombarded by new technology and new data, but what delivers is better data, better processes, better automation, and better services.

Beyond Energy

Take a look at the capabilities of the world of cloud-based intelligent building software. As one example, Switch Automation and Intel are offering an IoT-enabled software solution that drives operational efficiency and continuous improvement in commercial building operations. IoT-enabled intelligent building solutions help customers aggregate data from inside a single building and across a portfolio to benchmark and monitor operations for energy efficiency, operational efficiency, and improved occupant satisfaction.

Register today for the upcoming The Road to the Intelligent Building webinar and join the conversation on how digitization and the IoT is redefining the facilities industry with Navigant Research, Intel, and Switch Automation on May 6 at 2:00 pm EDT.

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