The FSI logo. Middle East

The Internet of Things

Facilities Management

06/07/17 | Sally Wotton

Time for the latest blog from the street from Karl Broom, Senior Business Development Manager at FSI, this time focusing on: the Internet of Things (IoT).

Yes, that hot topic again, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Everything, it seems we are entering an age of where we are placing the words 'The Internet of...' in front of anything we can think of.

With so much talk, and little action on the IoT front (in FM at least) there is much need for real life, use cases for implementing IoT in FM, a focussed approach is what's required and Gartner agree. There are new solutions emerging which capture all sorts of sensory data, monitor thresholds and even alert people through text and emails, but is that good enough? Are they just isolated IoT solutions, say to a specific site and not really living up to the name of 'the Internet?'.

Coffee is the stimulus of good ideas. A recent meeting with a client made this abundantly clear. Our aim, define tangible examples and use cases for real life FM problems which need solving, and how IoT can help.

Things started slower than expected, but once the caffeine kicked in the ideas flowed, one half bringing the problems, the other half bringing the tech, together we worked up solutions.

The key focus was to make sure that there was tangible benefit, as well as seeing operational gains. So, if we Sense, Analyse, and Respond we can react to this data, for example, monitoring temperatures and flow within pipework allowing us to review the temperature in order to assist with legionella testing (HSE L8). This provides us with a tangible example of statutory tests which need to be delivered to the FM world right now. This not only reduces the need to send a person to take manual readings but also allows us to react to risks far quicker and in a controlled manner.

There are great things coming with IoT, endless possibilities as we all grow with the technology, and we must remember it's to be embraced and to not 'shy' away from but let's make sure we are solving real problems and not implementing gimmicks just for the sake of it.