Using IoT solutions to efficiently manage property

Using IoT solutions to efficiently manage property

An article by Laurent Soubielle, IoT Agency North America Director, Sigfox.

Gartner predicts that there will be 20.4 billion connected devices in 20201, significant growth when compared to the 6.4 billion connected devices the global research firm reported in 2016. And that industry growth is far from slowing down—Statistica predicts there will be more than 75.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices worldwide by 20252.

The potential for the IoT to change the way the world works is limitless, and connected devices are becoming an asset to helping organizations make smarter, more efficient business decisions—like how to create and maintain an efficient workplace.

However, many organizations are hesitant to adopt IoT solutions due to concerns of high cost and potential security risks. Almost half of all U.S. firms using IoT reported falling victim to security breaches. Such incidents can reportedly cost smaller companies as much as 13% of their annual revenue. Additionally, more than a third of organizations admit to feeling discouraged by fees typically associated with the implementation and management of IoT solutions.

Fortunately, not every IoT network is created equal when it comes to security and expense. When connected to a 0G network—or a dedicated, low-bandwidth wireless network—IoT devices can send and receive messages made up of very small amounts of data—as little as 12 bytes—across long distances. Although small, these messages can deliver valuable business insights without risking security or incurring a high cost.

Read on to see what building, property and facility managers can look forward to with IoT devices connected to a secure 0G network.

Evaluating workspace needs

Going to work doesn’t necessarily mean commuting to the office anymore. With many companies adopting the “flex office” concept, home offices, community workspaces and other forms of remote work are becoming more common place. Because of these flexible schedules that result in fluctuating attendance, it can be difficult for office managers to gauge how much space a company needs to operate effectively.

By using IoT-enabled desk monitoring solutions, office managers can more accurately determine how often employees are in the office and which workstations are being used. These solutions are based on infrared technology and temperature sensors that can indicate if an employee is sitting at a desk, allowing an office manager to make an informed decision about how much space the company may need for its employees.

This can be especially useful in workspaces where employees may not have an assigned seat. By using an IoT-enabled solution to understand how often workspaces are being used, office managers and employers will have a better sense of how much space they need, allowing them to make informed decisions about how much space they need. If rooms are being left empty often, perhaps the company could downsize, resulting in significant savings they would not have been able to incur without the use of IoT.

Operating efficiently

In addition to enabling organizations to make smarter decisions about how much office space they rent, IoT-enabled solutions can be installed to survey building systems and operations such as HVAC, lighting and security, allowing smarter decisions to be made regarding usage. By using IoT sensors to deliver information on the usage of these systems, property managers can identify opportunities for energy and cost savings. For example, IoT solutions can report if lights are being kept on all night when the office is closed and empty. Or, that the heat runs when everyone is away on vacation. With this information, property managers can reevaluate electric and gas usage to minimize costs and set office-specific parameters, such as turning all office lights off at 7 p.m. or setting the HVAC systems to a holiday schedule.

This technology is not only limited to usage. IoT-enabled solutions can also determine leaks or potential breakages in systems such as pipes, alerting building owners sooner and preventing further, drastic damage.

Improving safety

It’s no secret that safety is the number one priority, no matter the business. IoT solutions not only monitor rooms for efficiency and space needs, but also occupant and worker safety. By using sensors to monitor conditions such as air quality and water temperature, building owners and office managers can quickly address problems as they arise. This monitoring can prevent sickness and severe harm.

For example, by monitoring a building’s water temperature, organizations can detect legionella—a bacteria that can cause a serious strain of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease, which can be spread through air conditioning units. By leveraging an IoT-enabled solution to monitor ambient conditions within an office space, issues can be communicated to property managers or building owners immediately, allowing them to communicate to tenant that they should stay home until the problem is solved. This ensures safety of employees, prevents further damage to the building and avoids potential future lawsuits.

Whether a property manager is managing one or 12 buildings, using IoT and a secure 0G network can provide valuable information quickly to make their jobs much easier. Buildings will not only be safer and cost effective, but also be ahead of the game with new, useful technology.

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