When the culture of digital disruption first emerged in the 90s not many people would have anticipated it to stick around. We assumed that when the dot-com bubble burst, like turtlenecks, Tamagotchis and other fads of the era, the concept of digitalisation would fade from memory. The opposite has certainly proven to be true.
Cast a look around and you’ll be hard pressed to find a person not tapping away on some sort of smart device. Tech innovation is no fleeting trend; it’s a culture that’s here to stay. So since the digital age isn’t ending any time soon the facilities management industry, and every other industry alike, can’t afford to be complacent and needs to push forward into the brave new world of tech.
When it comes to embracing technology in facilities management it isn’t a question of why, it’s a question of why not. The time for weighing up pros and cons has passed; evolving to a cloud-based FM system is simply a must. Of course some naysayers still argue that the pen, paper and spreadsheet era was the golden one in facilities management, but they would be wrong. Any evidence they have is countered by one easy concept … Efficiency.
Efficiency in business is a commodity, and like its ancestors of gold and silver, its trade is a lucrative one. In facilities management striving for efficiency is simply untenable without digital solutions. Management systems in all industry spheres are undergoing a de-cluttering process. And the simplest means of de-cluttering is digitalisation. For those largely unacquainted with tech, a digital revamp of facilities management systems can be a daunting task, however the double ‘D’ alliteration is all that ‘digital’ and ‘daunting’ share. Case studies reveal the reality of going digital isn’t one we need to be afraid of and instead one that we should be embracing with open arms.
To see the capabilities of tech in FM one need not look further than the humble app. Stacked in amongst the likes of Candy Crush and Angry Birds, apps for the facilities management process do exist and certainly make life all the more simple relative to their undefeatable game counterparts. In actuality there exists no valid excuse not to utilise app technology in FM. With 6.2 billion smartphones worldwide the facilities management revolution doesn’t need to be a battle of Trafalgar proportions, with app based cloud technology FM has never been easier. But if efficiency isn’t enough to sell you on the app front, the security factor will.
One frequently raised concern regarding digital technology in facilities management is data security. We’ve entered an era where a great deal of importance is placed on the protection of sensitive information, and rightly so. Of course data security is integral, but it’s a grave misconception that digitalisation means security has to be compromised. In fact, the opposite true. If anything, moving to a digital platform in FM makes your data safer. Not only is it safer, improved accessibility of data is another feature that only digital based facilities management can provide for.
Frankly, a failure to upgrade to an FM dashboard in the cloud may not yet be an indicator of future business profitability woes, but very soon it will be. Digital disruption and tech innovation is a culture that is here to stay. So with no signs of abatement you have two choices to make with your facilities management process: upgrade or fade. And when push comes to shove we would all pick the former. Surfing the wave of the digital revolution is without doubt a ride you don’t want to miss out on.
Paul New is CEO of FMi, one of Australia’s leading facility management software providers for 19 years.