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Changing responsibilities and expectations (Forrester Research part 3 of 4)

May 23, 2018

By Ralf VonSosen

Internet of Things (IoT) building solutions are not just transforming the way buildings perform--but also how people perform. In a recent webinar on IoT building solutions, Forrester analyst Michele Pelino noted that the amount of data now available is changing the day to day activities of professionals from Facilities and Real Estate teams to Business Managers and IT Executives.

It takes input from many stakeholders to gather the deploy smart building technology, and determine which data will appear on building analytic platforms. Now the insight captured on how buildings are used is leading these pros to re-prioritize the types of activities in which they engage. This data is demanding new levels of collaboration among groups that have been siloed in the past. Here are some of the changes to watch out for.

Watch Forrester’s Michele Pelino address this topic and read how responsibilities are changing by role below:

Facility Managers

Today’s FMs monitor HVAC, lighting, irrigation, and other systems to ensure they are properly performing. These professionals are already moving from traditional facilties engineering to modern data engineering. They’re learning to use data to determine which system changes can reduce energy costs, or how adjustments to facilities can improve worker productivity.

New roles will demand new relationships. For example, FMs will find they may need to work more closely with:

  • IT professionals and technology executives. FMs may soon be involved in installing, or coordinating installation of, connected building infrastructure.
  • Landlords and business leaders. FMs will need to understand business and occupant goals to deploy technology solutions, and explain how new technology is working to achieve these goals.
  • Financial decision-makers. With quantifiable data at their fingertips, FMs will be expected to make the business case for technology investments.

Commercial Real Estate Executives

Real estate executives will always need to present building differentiation benefits to property managers, FMs, the C-suite and tenants. But as buildings transform, these pros will need to spend more time positioning buildings based on how the smart solutions can drive business opportunities, transform employee productivity and improve tenant satisfaction.

Based on the visibility smart solutions can provide into space and energy utilization, expect real estate executives to use these building insights to more effectively manage workplace design and space utilization.

Line of Business Managers

HR, Finance and Marketing professionals working in smart buildings have powerful tools to help position and differentiate their employees’ experience. Today, Business Line Managers might highlight the social sustainability benefits of working in a green building, or the health benefits of an environment dedicated to ensuring healthy indoor air quality. There’s more information to pitch as some companies today are using smart building data on the impact the company has on the environment in production as part of their value message.

Managers in smart buildings will have an even more powerful case in the future as they can talk to potential employees about how the building is changing the way workers do their jobs. Giving workers the tools to do their jobs more productively (think apps that show when conference rooms are available based on data provided from occupancy sensors) can drive employee engagement.

Technology Executives

As more teams begin to rely on building data, IT teams will find they can no longer simply roll out devices to different teams. These pros will need to think beyond the technology rollout to other systems that will rely on the technology, such as maintaining data centers, networks, building automation systems and service desks.

Collaboration will make each of these shifts work seamlessly.

Get the complete Forrester IoT in Smart Buildings Report here, or check out the other research summaries.


Ralf VonSosen

As Lucid’s VP of Marketing, Ralf VonSosen leads product marketing, demand generation, branding, and communication activities. With almost 20 years in the technology space, Ralf brings leadership experience from small startups, as well as large companies such as SAP and LinkedIn. He was instrumental in establishing the energy/utilities vertical at Siebel/Oracle CRM, and most recently was a founding member of LinkedIn’s sales solutions business unit. Ralf holds a B.S. in Finance from Brigham Young University, and a MBA from the University of Utah.