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JLL experts: early adopters of digital facilities management are improving both employee experience and building efficiency
CHICAGO, Oct. 17, 2016 - Digital technologies are rapidly and radically altering how, when and where people work. In turn, new technologies are becoming available that alter how companies manage their workforce and the facilities that support it. While a handful of companies have adopted an all-encompassing digital facility management (FM) approach to-date, a new JLL report, Reinventing Facilities Management for the Digital World, predicts more will soon look to automation to not only streamline real estate operations, but also – and equally as important – enhance the experience.
"Ultimately, a facility manager overseeing a fully digital facilities ecosystem will have the right team and skillset to be leading a workplace strategy – which starts with the strategy of the business," said Maureen Ehrenberg, International Director of JLL's Global Integrated Facilities Management business.
"They will be implementing and overseeing a highly organized set of activities and enablement provided by technology and data that will support and align with the business and its challenges with an eye toward future business needs," Ehrenberg added. "We will see facility managers assuming larger roles in providing a workplace experience that delivers a competitive advantage, whether it's creating new levels of space personalization and efficiency or offering a seamless technological environment for people to access, regardless of where they choose to work."
According to Ehrenberg, many traditional, tactical FM functions can either be automated or managed more efficiently using digital technologies. Data gathered via these computerized processes can reveal employee preferences, facility usage and cost drivers. As a result, companies can use that information to make data-driven decisions related to strategic business planning, productivity initiatives, capital planning, asset management, energy usage, workplace and talent strategy and facility services.
Digitization is playing out across four primary dimensions:
"These technologies are here, but many hesitate to invest in automated systems now for fear of betting on the wrong horse," notes Ehrenberg. "The digital shift is happening and FM leaders need to be prepared to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that will come with it. To make it a reality, FM leaders need to assess their current capabilities and identify what is needed to build on those. They also need to be knowledgeable about company strategy and be able to demonstrate how these approaches contribute to the top and bottom lines."
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