Global Corporate Survey 2022: Smart Building Technology Budgets, Priorities & Preferences

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Executive Summary

This report presents the results of 350 telephone interviews conducted with real estate and facility manager executives across North America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), from May to July 2022. These executives are implementing strategies in response to a turbulent economic climate and shifting workplace demands in an era of hybrid work. 

Firms are balancing initiatives around cost reduction across energy use and under-utilized space; office redesign to support new working patterns; and the health and wellbeing of staff as they return to the workplace. Budgetary challenges and uncertainty over long-term real estate plans have hindered technology investment plans somewhat. 

Real estate and facilities directors and heads can use this report to compare their own firms’ smart building technology strategies and investment plans. Smart building product and service providers can benefit from it to better understand market demand and emerging areas of interest over the short and medium term.

Table of contents

The Verdantix Sixth Annual Smart Building Survey 
When And Why: Macro Issues Impact Corporate Confidence 

Multi-Dimensional Challenges Drive Real Estate Strategies 
Managers Contend with Many Objectives 
Reducing costs is still on top, but barely. 
Return to work requires focus on health and wellbeing. 
Global labour shortages are a key concern. 
Resilience is top only in APAC. 
Decarbonization slides down the agenda. 
Right-Sizing Is Difficult, Due To Unpredictable Occupancy 
Downsizing sentiment is higher than intention to expand. 
Corporates plan to shed excess and amenity-poor spaces 
Flexible portfolio design enables flexible work. 

Pathways To Improved Performance 
Portfolio: The Real Estate Reporting Ramp-Up 
Turning to technology helps. 
Property (1): Building Optimization 
Energy management is a singular focus. 
Firms Double-Down On Easy And Affordable Decarbonization Options 
Corporates opting for tried and trusted technologies. 
CAPEX-heavy technology attracting few takers. 
Property (2): The Case For Space (Management) 
Corporates are trialling a variety of space monitoring sensors. 
Hybrid working is the catalyst for space monitoring software. 
People (1): Healthy Buildings Are Pivotal To Post-COVID Workplaces 
Supporting staff health and wellbeing is top of mind for real estate managers. 
Corporates plan to reinvest in health and wellbeing software. 
People (2): Encouraging Employees To Return 
Corporates are accelerating efforts to improve office life. 
Continued software rollouts boost workplace experience. 
Technology investment is just one way to entice employees back to the office. 

Smart Building Software Spend Slows 
Hybrid working has pushed investment in workplace management software. 
There are challenging times ahead as IWMS vendors transition to CPIP vision. 
Some see additional business value in digital twins. 
Next-Gen: The Future Is Here… But Not Quite Yet 
3D visualizations offer flexibility and value in the post-COVID era. 
Energy-intensive and asset-heavy industries plan to use edge computing. 
Integration And Openness Are Now Essential For Vendors 
Openness is fundamental to accessing the corporate tech ecosystem. 


Table of figures

Figure 1. Regional Breakdown Of Interviewees
Figure 2. Industry Categories Of Firms Surveyed
Figure 3. Ranking Of Real Estate Objectives, Next Three Years
Figure 4. Portfolio Management Initiatives, Next Two Years
Figure 5. Initiatives Firms Plan To Undertake, Next 12 Months
Figure 6. ESG And Sustainability Reporting Software Adoption
Figure 7. Investment Plans For The Following Decarbonization Initiatives For The Next 12 Months 
Figure 8. Use Of The Following Hardware Technologies For Collecting Building Data
Figure 9. Use Of Commercial Software To Support Space Monitoring 
Figure 10. Supporting Staff Health And Wellbeing, Next 12 Months
Figure 11. Software Plans To Support Staff Health And Wellbeing In The Office
Figure 12. Improving Employee On-Site Experience, Next 12 Months
Figure 13. Use Of Commercial Software To Support The Following Facilities And Real Estate Processes
Figure 14. Expected Investment Increase In Software Categories, Next 12 Months
Figure 15. Awareness Of Digital Innovations Related To Facilities And Real Estate 
Figure 16. Plans For Real Estate And Facilities Software Over The Next Five Years

Organisations mentioned, Envoy, US Department of Energy

About the authors

Ben Readman

Industry Analyst
Ben is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His current research agenda focuses on ESG strategies and technologies for real estate, and corporate real estate technology investment strategies. Ben Joined Verdantix in 2021, having previously worked as a researcher at CECAN and as a sustainability officer for the NHS. He holds a Masters in Environmental Strategy from the University of Surrey and a BA in Geography from the University of Birmingham.

Justine Bornstein

Research Director, Smart Buildings
Justine is the Research Director of the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focusses on digitisation, decarbonisation and optimisation across the built environment. Prior to joining Verdantix, Justine worked at Deloitte as the research lead covering transport, energy, industrial and public sectors. Justine holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Nagoya University in Japan. 

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