Smart Buildings: Enhancing the user experience through technology convergence

Smart buildings and workplace technologies have been penetrating through organizations for decades. But what does the future hold? How can organizations adapt? Here are the most important takeaways from the ISS Business Forum.

Corporate Real Estate and Facility Management executives today are challenged with, at one hand: reduce their asset and operational costs while on the other; enhance the work experience. If used right, new technologies and cognitive devices can enable workplace professionals to solve these diverging needs, while maximizing business competitiveness and productivity.

Machine learning and self-adaption in the new age

“Future workplaces will empower employees. Next generation smart buildings will anticipate and adapt to users’ needs to make life easier, more comfortable, enjoyable and productive.” - John Raspin, Frost & Sullivan

The cognitive workplace, enabled by sensor technologies and digital platforms, stores user history and patterns, and updates itself constantly to evolve with the organization and the people it serves.

With the aim to secure optimal workplace wellbeing and productivity, cognitive technologies help us to monitor conditions like temperature and lightning and automatically modify the settings to the preferences of the users in specific areas of the building.

Learning from historical behaviors, cognitive and face-recognition technologies can provide service and building professionals with insights to user specific needs such as nutrition (allergies), level of meeting activity and preferred ways of working. All together ensuring that the workplace experience automatically can be adapted to the individual preferences at each step in the user journey.

Provided with a dashboard displaying the most important building metrics and self-adaptation technologies capable of reacting to user behavior - Facility Managers have much fewer manual adjustments to do. This in turn frees time to focus on more value-added activities and the service experience of each individual user of the building.

Convergence bonds technologies together to serve people

To successfully drive the workplace transformation of tomorrow, we must stop working in disconnected silos. Integrated solutions that take multiple user touch points, behaviors, needs and services are needed to understand the complete user journey and elevate the whole user experience.

In the future, we’ll also see an increasing degree of integration between smart buildings and smart cities. By connecting data and optimizing user journeys both in- and outside of the workplace, we’ll for example be able to optimize the experience of the Monday morning commute to work.