Investing in Internet of Things (IoT) building solutions can provide substantial benefits ranging from energy reductions to improved space utilization, and even more productive and satisfied building occupants. Yet getting to these improvements can be challenging if you don’t know where you are or where you’re heading.
As Forrester analyst Michele Pelino explained in a recent webinar on IoT building solutions, any IoT investment should start with a careful assessment of a building’s current assets and the goals in making this type of investment.
Watch Forrester’s Michele Pelino address this topic and read how you can kick off your IoT plan below:
Four areas to kick-off your IoT exploration
- Start with end goal in mind. Focusing on the purpose behind the building and the goals of its stakeholders will help prioritize IoT initiatives. If you’re connecting a commercial office space, you may want to focus on solutions that impact collaboration and productivity. If your target is a retail store, you may instead aim for solutions that ensure customer comfort, improve visitor navigation, and create a powerful experience for the building’s brand.
- Conduct a comprehensive site survey. Before beginning any infrastructure upgrades it’s important to understand what’s already happening in the building. What kind of infrastructure and equipment is already in place, and what is its condition? Your survey should include details on equipment ranging from make and model to details on maintenance history and the operation schedule. When working with legacy systems, create a roadmap for what needs to be updated to help prioritize projects.
- Start by addressing efficiency use cases, but don’t stop there. Often IoT upgrades focus on power efficiency improvements. After all, it’s easy to create a business case for these investments when the impact can be rapidly felt. Use this momentum to drive other priorities forward.
By planning for higher-impact use cases in the early stages of your IoT rollout, you can more easily expand the capabilities of structures being put into place today to meet tomorrow’s needs. For example, if a lighting system is installed to drive energy efficiency improvements, find out in advance if you can use the same system for productivity improvements by incorporating sensors into the lighting.
- Consider funding sources and new cost models. Counting on tomorrow’s savings to fund today’s projects can demand new ways of thinking about funding. Consider performance contract options to evaluate and fund your intelligent building initiatives. Talk to vendors about funding solutions upfront, as different vendors will have different ways of charging for use.
Get the complete Forrester IoT in Smart Buildings Report here, or check out the other research summaries:
- Beyond energy, changing how people interact with buildings (Forrester Research part 1 of 4)
- Changing responsibilities and expectations (Forrester Research part 3 of 4)
- Four strategies for navigating new complexities (Forrester Research part 4 of 4)