The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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F E A T U R E A R T I C L E 26 September 2018 the leader space – when they are in the space, how long they are there, and how they are moving or congregating within the space," said Wagoner. "We can tie that back to how the space is used and designed." For example, a common complaint by occupiers is that there are not enough conference rooms, as people can never find one open when they need one. Through new technology it is possible for CRE teams to track utilization in terms of how people are using spaces, which rooms are used most often, and which ones might be underutilized. This data can aid in enhancing workplace design and help determine where to locate commonly used spaces such as conference rooms, as well as better communicate their availability to employees. d ata, analytics and the i oT Sensors are not a new addition to real estate and building management systems. What is new, however, is the proliferation of data and the ability to organize it in a way that is more leverageable, via the cloud or other means. CRE can now use better analytics tools, as well as look toward AI and machine learning, as potential ways to learn from data and better understand employee behaviors in the workplace. Understanding these behaviors can allow CRE professionals to think about productivity, engagement and collaboration benefits. "It is expanding the business case for the types of investments that are required to deploy smart-building and digital-workplace technologies," said James. The ability to store and track information on a facility is key to efficiently managing corporate real estate. "The challenge now is how to make that information available to employees in meaningful forms and how large data can be extracted to allow predictive analysis to be undertaken," said Belen Moscoso del Prado, chief digital and innovation officer at Sodexo. For example, if the facilities team can turn off the lights or reduce HVAC usage in meeting rooms or other large areas that are not being used, the building's environmental footprint would be reduced and savings for the building operator would be increased. This data explosion presents challenges as well as opportunities. Data and analytics related to infrastructure are much easier to manage than they used to be two or three years back, and the use of cloud computing is fairly standard and widespread across organizations. However, challenges remain in terms of what to do with all the data. On the technology side, the challenge is mixing innovation with the practical, known solution. For example, there are now some applications of machine learning and AI for CRE. "However, we need to still train the machine how to think like CRE," said Wickland. Some examples of this already exist, including using technology for lease abstraction, fault detection, and customer-pattern identification, or using things like robotic process automation, which helps reduce manual labor. One of the ways CRE can maximize the value that technology offers is by finding people who write algorithms and leverage machine learning. Furthermore, these people need to be able to connect real estate data and non-real estate data to get the bigger picture in terms of occupants' behaviors and social habits, and how these affect real estate/ facilities and the workplace experience, added Wickland. Curating a digital workplace experience Better managing space needs and real estate costs will always be a priority for CRE. However, the discussion around smart, technology-enabled buildings has expanded as organizations recognize the inter-dependency between operating efficiencies and the occupier experience. Efforts to improve collaboration and productivity, and to attract and retain talent, help build the business case for the digital workplace. After all, there is a significant uptick in the number of people who use their mobile phones to shop online, do their banking, order car service, or place a food order for delivery or pick-up. "More and more in their personal lives, people are getting services quickly and easily through their mobile phone," Wagoner said. "At what point do people start revolting against corporations because they don't get the same level of service that they expect in the rest of their life?" People want to spend as little time and energy as possible while doing chores and CRE is helping to put mobile apps in the hands of employees to help them be more efficient and productive. There is an increased use of e-reception services, self-service and self-management, and people are getting more comfortable interacting with screens and robots for these kinds of services. "Think about when you fly – what you would have done 15 years ago, like call a travel agent, receive a ticket in the mail, check in with a human being at the airport, and be screened in security by a person. These are all processes we can do now almost totally without human interaction," said Moscoso del Prado. CRE has changed in a similar manner, with chatbots operating on intelligent response and machine learning replacing call- center representatives. o pportunities and challenges Certainly, there are many challenges associated with adapting and utilizing technology. One of the big hurdles is that the actual technologies – tools, apps and operating systems – can be complex. In addition, there are a myriad of firms offering innovative building technologies and systems. The questions for organizations and for CRE are how to bring all this technology together, and how to bring together the right team According to the 2018 Digital Workplace Trends research study conducted by CoreNet Global and Deloitte Consulting LLP, 36 percent of CRE organizations surveyed said they have a digital workplace strategy that has been (or is being) implemented; 9 percent have defined and agreed on a digital workspace strategy but have not yet implemented it; 36 percent do not have a formal strategy but plan to have one within 12-18 months; and 18 percent have no current plans to develop a digital workplace strategy.

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