The Leader Magazine

SEP 2017

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28 SEPTEMBER 2017 T h E l E ad ER F E A T U R E A R T I C L E The strategic value of smart work environment applications by Lynn Brugmans, Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek, Astrid Kemperman and Lars Dinnissen A fter the first, the second, and the third industrial revolution, the fourth industrial revolution is about to happen. In industry 4.0, for the Internet of Things (IoT), machines and other things are all connected to the Internet, which enables them to communicate with each other. Knowledge, service, and information will become more and more important because of this communication, and data is continuously being collected. The availability of data evolves into smart products, smart grids, smart logistics, and smart buildings. Therefore, 'data is the new oil' is a slogan which is increasingly being used in the media (Quora, 2016). It means that data has become a very valuable asset; however, just like oil, it is useless if unrefined. Data must be analyzed before it can provide value (Ana Marketing Maestros, 2006). And more important, it is necessary to identify beforehand which type of data (collection) could provide which strategic value(s) for the office owner and user. The way people work has changed and many corporate real estate (CRE) managers are thinking about whether and how to implement smart-building applications in the work environments of their client. This article describes the opinion of 122 CRE experts on the strategic values that 20 different smart-building applications could possibly deliver. They all participated in a survey developed by the Eindhoven University of Technology which was distributed at the CoreNet Global Summit, Amsterdam 2016. The results provide useful information for everybody interested in smart work environments. Survey development and distribution In literature about smart buildings and smart environments, a smart work environment is defined as 'a physical work environment that senses information about the environment and the user in it and subsequently uses this information for an action in order to achieve and improve strategic value(s) for the organization'. Twenty types of smart applications were formulated, based on literature research and an extensive search of the Internet for the latest applications under development: All smart applications are formulated as encapsulating definitions and meet the requirement that they can take action without human intervention since 'smart' concerns the capability to autonomously collect and apply knowledge (Lee et al, 2004; Cook et al, 2009; and Reijula et al, 2011). Strategic value, or added value, was defined as the trade-off between advantages and sacrifices made for these interventions. The advantages are a result of FM and CRE management interventions and they concern the needs and wants of the client, customer, and end-user. Sacrifices concern both monetary and non-monetary sacrifices. The following nine real estate strategies delivering strategic value were included in the survey: In order to examine the relationship between strategic values and smart applications, a questionnaire was developed to examine the relationships between the smart applications and the strategic values and distributed to attendees of the 2016 CoreNet Global Summit in Amsterdam. From the 583 attendees representing 26 countries, 122 completed the questionnaire, representing 21 nationalities. Forty-six percent of the respondents were Western European; only 15 percent of respondents were non-European. In the weeks after the Summit, the results of the questionnaire were discussed in five expert interviews in order to examine the practical implications of the relationships between strategic values and the smart applications put forward in the survey. Four experts were CRE managers of large corporates and the fifth was a project developer specialising in smart office buildings. What the survey told us The results showed that employee satisfaction was regarded as the most important strategic reason to implement smart applications in general, forming the top three responses along with flexibility and productivity. In fourth and fifth place, respectively, stimulating innovation and supporting sustainability were mentioned as improvable with smart applications. When asked which specific smart application could best support which strategic value, mainly satisfaction, productivity and costs were mentioned. Employee satisfaction is particularly expected to be supported by the smart applications relating to personal preferences (namely workspace personalization, personal air quality and temperature control, smart coffee machine, food and beverage adaptation, and personal light control). They all relate to personal preferences, as the workspace can be personalized with three of the five smart applications (i.e., the canteen offers food according to the personal preferences of the employees present in the building at that time, and the smart coffee machine brews the preferred • Meeting room allocation • Workspace allocation • Parking space allocation • Workspace personalization • Noise cancelling • Colleague locator • Central air quality and temperature control • Personal air quality and temperature control • Central light control • Personal light control • Cleanliness control • Smart coffee machine • Waste basket monitoring • Greenery monitoring • Toilet and washroom monitoring • Robot security guards • Dynamic evacuation • Sensor-based elevators • Food and beverage adaptation • Automatic printer • Reduce real estate costs • Increase flexibility • Increase value of real estate • Control risks • Increase productivity • Increase employee satisfaction • Support culture & organization's image • Stimulate innovation • Support sustainability

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