Embracing the tech-enabled workplace

03-05-18 16:13 BIFM

Embracing technology to move FM forward, is the latest report from BIFM, developed in collaboration with the 3edges consultancy. The report examines the role technology will play in FM’s future, for better and for worse. What technology are we already comfortable with and what disruptive technology may be lurking around the corner...

Technology has always played a big role in shaping the way we work, and it is likely to be one of the most significant influences on the facilities management profession in the future. This new report draws on research conducted on behalf of BIFM during 2017, a pulse survey of BIFM members in March 2018, and a review of the broader literature on technology, FM and the world of work. The report broadly outlines:

  • Which technologies are most likely to affect the FM profession and how
  • What the opportunities and challenges presented by technology mean for the FM profession
  • How well placed the FM profession is to cope with changes in technology and, therefore, what the profession might need to do differently

This is not new to the profession, but this report highlights a worrying lack of awareness around specific technologies that have the potential to change the FM landscape dramatically. It explores what several different futures may look like as we embrace technological advancements and discusses the ethical dilemma that they pose.

Chris Moriarty, BIFM’s Director of Insight commented on the report; “Technology’s impact on FM has been much discussed but, in this report,, we want to delve deeper into what that impact could be; positively or negatively. What it has shown us is that more needs to be done to explore specific technologies as awareness and understanding on them was relatively low but it was clear that they have the potential to be a disrupter in the way we currently deliver FM. Embraced correctly, they present a huge opportunity to the profession as they’ll need to be leveraged by skilled and knowledgeable professionals who have a full appreciation for the way it can connect with the culture of our organisations and the spaces in which we provide for them.

Stephen Roots, BIFM Chairman added; “As this year marks BIFM’s 25th Anniversary year, what better time for us to deep dive into this pertinent topic, which has the potential to shape the future of FM. The insight this report provides has huge potential and the findings are evidence based, giving weight to the debate around the future of the tech-enabled workplace.”

BIFM Members can download the full report here


Antony Slumbers (PropTech influencer, @anyonyslumbers)

This is very useful work from 3edges and BIFM. It sounds trite to say that technology is moving at an exponential pace, but it really is. In fact, the drivers behind AI are advancing significantly faster even than the infamous Moore’s Law.

The impact will be that the work we do, as humans, will alter greatly over the next few years. As everything ‘structured, repeatable or predictable’ gets taken over by computers, the very function of our workplaces will change. That provides an enormous opportunity for forward thinkers to develop new skills and services that allow them to provide a step change in service to their customers.

Reading and understanding the implications of this report is a great place to start in the race to stay ahead of the competition.

Will Easton (Paragon, @wjeaston)

Recent news coverage is exposing the fragility of organisations who are unable to shift strategies in line with the evolving world of work. This coupled with internal quandaries about the purpose and placement of FM within an organisation adds urgency to plan and apply a technological strategy to all of its services.

Disruption should not be viewed passively as the long terms risks could be catastrophic. This report brings together industry perceptions and highlights the need for FM and its clients to think differently on how emerging digital technologies should be used to enhance services provided.


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