Comment: Data driven revolution
A data driven revolution in facility operations is underway in the UAE, says Facilio CEO Prabhu Ramachandran
As a highly valued sector of the economy, the commercial real estate industry in UAE has always stood apart due to its appetite for investing in unique and unprecedented infrastructure. A mature business community with its finger on the pulse of the latest global trends and developments, CRE owners in the UAE are now proving to be one of the early movers globally, in the shift to an IoT and AI enabled model of operations. By unlocking the value inherent in system wide performance data, which previously lay siloed and unused, this predictive and responsive approach holds the promise to simultaneously optimise occupant comfort, business profitability and sustainability.
The UAE is perfectly positioned to be a global leader in data-driven real estate and infrastructure
Around the world, a new generation of customers is forcing CRE owners to adapt to their expectations, and the UAE is no different. Personalised, value added and seamless facilities experiences are emerging as the new normal and the UAE government’s vision for the creation of smart cities and people centric services are further reinforcing this trend. Policies and regulatory reforms are driving a tech driven transformation, to achieve unprecedented outcomes in sustainability, as well as citizen happiness and wellbeing. The approaching Expo2020 event in Dubai has also fired up the national imagination, with its emphasis on the creation of a future ready and tech empowered UAE.
One of the major challenges faced by CRE owners and facility managers is that even if they have the right strategy in place, they are often limited by lack of access to real time enterprise scale transparency. The typically siloed systems, which the legacy model of real estate portfolios is encumbered with, leads to an inability to analyse performance data, making it harder to make informed decisions on the go. Factors like inflexible legacy CaFM added to the complexity, due to their narrow orientation towards solving operational issues as they emerge, rather than the creation of a truly predictive model of portfolio management. With IoT enabling the aggregation of operational data – across mechanical assets, workforces and environmental conditions – it’s now possible for centralised software platforms to generate virtually instant actionable insights, with which to optimise portfolio wide maintenance, sustainability, asset health and tenant experiences. CREs can now aspire to a truly unified and data led business model and while this cognitive technology led approach is gaining traction globally, the UAE commercial real estate sector is already taking the lead in deploying it.
A predictive model of commercial real estate portfolio management
Facilio has recently released a report labelled the ‘2020 State of CRE Operations 3.0’, for which we surveyed and studied a cross section of commercial real estate owners from the US, Middle East and Indian markets. The report found that many of the challenges and priorities for building owners were consistent across these markets. Our findings reveal that:
• 77% CRE owners cite tenant experience as a priority and allocate 39% operational spend for the same.
• Energy ROI focus is driving 65% of OPex towards data-driven energy enhancements.
• 40% of tech investment being directed into Data – Centralisation, analytics & intelligence.
• 20% savings, of a 60% maintenance spend on hard services, is being anticipated, by combining predictive analytics & automation.
(Source: Facilio Inc.’s ‘2020 State of CRE Operations 3.0’, http://bit.ly/2Smgwg2)
Given the perfect fit that a model relying on system wide data aggregation and a centralised software platform is, for addressing these priorities, it’s no surprise that CREs in the UAE are acting to gain ‘first mover advantage’, and may well emerge as a significant driver of more widespread global adoption.
A commercial real estate sector aligned with the future-ready focus of its national economy
As a nation, the UAE is approaching an inflexion point in its journey, driven by progressive and people-centric government policies and vision, as well as a dynamic business community. The UAE’s commercial real estate industry, which already has a well-deserved reputation for being an early adopter of breakthrough technologies, now looks set to also lead the world in the next chapter in digital building management. As innovations go, the data-driven CRE business model optimises the entire spectrum of desirable outcomes for the industry so comprehensively, that it will be the default industry standard, moving forward.