The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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F E A T U R E A R T I C L E 24 September 2018 the leader Snapshot: the convergence of technology and corporate real estate by Beth Mattson-Teig T echnology that people used to talk about moving into the workplace "someday" is no longer just around the corner. Augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles are here, with a barrage of innovations being delivered at a rapid- fire pace. The Edge in Amsterdam, which is the headquarters for Deloitte Netherlands, was called one of the "smartest" buildings in the world by Bloomberg Businessweek when it opened in 2015. The building uses 28,000 sensors to do everything from track individuals as they enter the building, to allowing employees to use a mobile app to set personal preferences for such things as lighting and temperature in their workspaces. While real estate is the second or the third largest expense for most Fortune 500 companies – and space utilization, operating efficiency and managing real estate costs are still a priority – improving the employee experience is gaining greater importance. "That is a bigger value play for corporations than the old tradition, how … we use space by just cramming more people into it to reduce our cost-per-square-foot basis. We're trying to take more of a holistic approach to it," said D. Edward Wagoner, international director and global chief information officer of Corporate Solutions for JLL. Similarly, the entrance of Millennials into the workplace means technologies that allow for seamless engagement are in higher demand and corporate real estate (CRE) is having to think of service delivery differently. "We are seeing real estate departments taking a step back and looking at how we can put technology directly in the occupants' hands, treating them more as consumers of choice," said Mitch Wickland, CIO, Occupier Services at Cushman & Wakefield. Emerging technologies such as AI, virtual/augmented reality and robotics are being applied across entire value chains to create new products, services and experiences. Mobile technologies and cloud computing are allowing creative knowledge workers to work from anywhere in the world and to have greater autonomy. At the same time, IoT allows for people and assets such as furniture to be rigorously tracked and monitored. It is now possible to obtain real-

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