Why the next 10 years matter for FMs and the public sector

Towards 2020 the public sector will undergo a number of changes and the role of the FM provider will evolve, therefore strategic alignment is critical.

Public sector organizations are tasked with major responsibilities to their cities and communities - while having to manage operational demands that continue to face increased financial constraint. As the role of government rapidly evolves, so does that of the FM providers’. As a significant customer for FM’s, it is important to consider the impact of what’s to come for the public sector to prepare for the next ten years.

First, the public sector will undergo a number of changes towards 2020

From “citizen under control” to “citizen in control” and “governing for citizens” to “governing with citizens” - the figure below adapted from PwC tells a compelling story about the developing nature of social structures, market roles and governing models that affect the public sector. While change is inevitable, they are arriving at an accelerating pace that creates unprecedented pressures to the public sector, driving it towards greater optimization and empowering the citizen at its center. As such, the new relationship between the government and public will be based on higher levels of citizen engagement that will include the specification of priorities, as well as the development of solutions. The role of government as service provider will turn into that of a service facilitator, broker or commissioner.


Figure: Changes in the Public Sector. Source: PwC, 2013

Second, the role of Facility Management (FM) becomes increasingly apparent

As a result of the evolving needs of the public sector, the role of the FM providers and other private sector organizations will extend beyond offering facility support services into playing an integral role in creating change. As the public sector continues to dissolve traditional boundaries, competent private sector professionals will be expected to assume new roles in facilitating the movement of information, people, and objectives - while creating a high quality experience for citizens. The ultimate goal for FMs? Focus on combining operational excellence with value-added, technological and resource-efficient solutions in order to develop a social-and citizen-centered proposition.

Finally, the public sector is a significant customer for FM providers

Across the globe, public sector organizations in many countries will continue to be faced with organization and operational demands that emphasize resource optimization. Therefore, the next ten years will provide a historic opportunity for many FM and service industry managers to contribute strategically to the organizational development of the public sector. When FM providers solve environmental, social and economic challenges with solutions for robust public service delivery - then they will become a significant asset to the public sector in return.

At its core, the government is transforming the essence of public service provision to include a greater focus on the end-user. Consequently, over next 10 years, there is a greater reliability on FM providers and other private sector organizations to play a larger role in helping public sector organizations seek viable, cost-efficient, value-adding solutions that contribute directly to positive social outcomes.

Would you agree that this is relevant to the changes of the public sector in your country for the next 10 years? Do you believe that FM managers are in the position to make an impact on strategic issues facing the public sector?

This blog post is based on findings from New Ways of Working - the workplace of the future by ISS.