Facility Managers Must Look Beyond The Pandemic In Their Technology Planning

On November 9, 2020, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that a COVID-19 vaccine they are jointly developing has shown to be more than 90% effective in an initial trial. The firms will submit their drug to authorities for emergency approval and it could be made available for use by the end of 2020, if the Food and Drug Administration gives it the green light. Whilst there are still major hurdles for the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, many in the medical sector acknowledge that this is a positive sign in the race to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

These recent announcements highlight that real estate managers need to look beyond the pandemic in their technology planning. While many facility directors are currently focused on the short-term and implementing technologies that aid COVID-19 management, more sophisticated firms are already looking beyond the current crisis. For example, UK real estate investor British Land recently stated it would not invest in expensive and temporary technologies such as face mask scanning cameras, but it would invest in space utilization and air quality sensors which have long-term applications.

Smart investments in building technology will provide value during the pandemic and beyond. A good example is smart cleaning technologies which include mobile apps and sensors that enable more efficient cleaning. These solutions help firms meet immediate needs for more thorough and auditable cleaning while allowing firms to drive greater labour efficiency. Another technology with short- and long-term applications is space management software; firms can deploy these solutions today to manage workplace social distancing. In the longer-term, this software will aid firms in ensuring the efficient use of space and identifying opportunities for space consolidation. For example, Suncorp leveraged Serraview’s software to to identify underused spaces and increase occupancy by 40%.

As facility managers roll out new technologies to manage COVID-19 today, they should keep in mind the long-term, or they risk being ill-placed when the impact of the pandemic starts to fade. For more insights on this topic, register for our upcoming webinar How To Select The Right Smart Office Software Vendor.

SB Facility Managers Must Look Beyond The Pandemic In Their Technology Planning Verdantix Blog

Susan Clarke

Research Director, Smart Buildings, Verdantix

Susan leads the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focuses on software solutions for real estate management including integrated workplace management systems and IoT platforms for buildings. Her research expertise also includes a broad range of energy management technologies and energy services. Susan has eight years of experience in technology research. She holds a MSc from the University of London in Sustainable Development.