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Key Challenges for Smart Buildings

The investment in a smart building undoubtedly pays for itself by enabling higher productivity, lower workplace costs, and better planning opportunities. But these benefits don’t always appear overnight. Some of the biggest advantages can take time, money, and knowledge to implement, especially when it comes to identifying the right IT and OT systems and understanding how, exactly, to leverage a Smart Building.

Whilst Smart Buildings are the future, at Juberi we recognise that they do still come with their challenges. This week’s insight explores the diversity of the challenges that many businesses as we seek to help as many companies as we can to overcome them! 

Challenge 1: Cost

  • Cost is always an obstacle when new technologies come into the field. For smart buildings, it’s not only the cost of the devices needed to establish the IoT, but also SaaS, installation, and training costs. Finding room in the budget for one-time and ongoing fees isn’t easy, and it becomes more difficult for larger facilities or robust integrations. To adopt the IoT and create smart buildings, companies need to master budgeting and make a meaningful allocation to innovation.

Challenge 2: Cybersecurity

  • Smart buildings are the epitome of Big Data. Their entire premise hinges on detecting and collecting data that’s used to improve the workplace. But where there’s data, there’s cybersecurity concerns. Every device connected to the IoT is a potential entryway for a malicious attack. Before companies branch out their IoT and begin collecting huge sums of data, cybersecurity takes precedence. Thankfully, cloud cybersecurity is gaining momentum alongside the IoT. It’s getting easier to secure data, especially for companies that make common-sense digital practices a priority.

Challenge 3: Curating stakeholder buy-in

  • Not everyone in your company will see the value of a smart building – at first. It’s up to facility managers and other innovators to make the case for smart buildings, and often, it’s an uphill battle. Even for considerate stakeholders, it may take time to convince them the investment is worth it. The best thing any company can do is reflect on the growing body of data, case studies, and practical examples showing how the IoT produces cost-savings and other high-priority benefits.

Challenge 4: It’s Confusing!

  • The IoT is complex. Think of it like trying to piece together a puzzle with no picture to work from. You know certain pieces fit here and there, and you can start to see the bigger picture as you connect a few, but the larger image doesn’t come into focus until you’ve got a majority of it all worked out. It’s slow-going and there’s some guesswork involved. A company might not understand the smart building integrations it has or the ones it needs until it has dabbled for a while. The best way to approach a smart building transition is to take time to truly understand it. Understand the IoT in a practical sense. Then, invest your time in understanding the nature of integrations and set up simple ones. As the purpose and practicality of the IoT becomes clearer, so will the bigger picture of your smart building.

Challenge 5: Ownership!

  • Even if a company has the financial means and forward-thinking mindset to embrace smart facilities, there’s still the question of who will manage them. Whose job is it to manage integrations and establish reporting? Decipher trends and opportunities? Optimize the IoT around specific business goals? Getting someone formally trained and familiar with smart building technologies takes time and money. Facility managers are more important than ever before, especially those with IoT experience. Before a company can fully embrace a smart building, it needs to enlist and train a facility manager.

To realise the benefits of smart buildings, companies need to take time to really get under the skin of the obstacles in front of them. If you need support in overcoming any of these challenges in order to better understand the implementation of a smart building then please get in touch.

With our Juberi Journey we can support you in all areas from Assessment to IT/OT Convergence, Cyber Security, Certification and more! Get in touch to find out more.