According to Claire Visser, Director at CAFM Explorer, facilities management is an ever-changing landscape. Computer-aided Facilities Management needs to be a living, breathing organism of corporate and personal optimization. Currently, there are myriad benefits to implementing CAFM systems in your organization, but what about the future? How can CAFM change the way the future unfolds before us?
CAFM has been around since the late ’80s, using the PC to collect and maintain facilities management (FM) information. When information technology became widely used, IT systems penetrated the construction and FM industry to provide an even more efficient way to manage an organization’s assets. Since the development of internet-based database systems, high-end CAFM tools have increased in the FM sector, driving facilities management optimization into the present day.
As it exists today, CAFM is an essential resource in facilities management. The benefits of implementing CAFM systems into your organization can result in decreased operational costs across the board. CAFM systems also streamline an organization’s efficiency in all areas. This can be anything from logistics and human resources to maintenance. CAFM, in its current form, is already the epitome of asset and facilities management, but the future of CAFM promises so much more.
The future of optimization and efficiency is in the integration of related optimization tools. For instance, how compatible is CAFM with the Internet of Things? The IoT is, by definition, how the physical environment we live in connects with the internet. The “things” in the IoT are, for instance, vehicles that connect to the internet to monitor traffic patterns and make real-time decisions to avoid accidents.
CAFM, in a similar way, is how well a business or organization integrates with the environment. Think about fleet cars scheduling maintenance and repairs by connecting to the internet and tracking their electronics and mechanical systems. The IoT could thus merge with CAFM systems to create a more efficient workspace. Companies such as FSI for example, are the driving force for efficient and accurate CAFM integration.
The integration of CAFM systems with the IoT can lead to much faster progress toward proper artificial intelligence. AI applications wouldn't be limited to the conventional self-help robots but could mean buildings that, to an extent, develop a consciousness.
Intelligent buildings have existed for a while, but we have only scratched the surface of what integrated smart systems like CAFM can achieve. Imagine a world where the second you walk into your business premises, the entire building comes alive with integrated systems. Powered by CAFM and the IoT, these systems could perform tasks that usually take time out of your day. Automatic lights that switch off after you leave a room are commonplace. However, lights that measure their power consumption and where to reduce costs are innovative.
CAFM users are always looking for real-time integration and connectivity. This is all to streamline the day-to-day operation of their organizations. The joining of CAFM systems and the IoT is a step toward a future where buildings, organizations, assets, and human resources can connect seamlessly.