As a professional that hails from the natural resource management side of the business, I pause when I hear convoluted statements around optimizing infrastructures. Can we just say make better business decisions around your assets? Well, yes and no.

Solid business decisions should be driven, in my opinion, by the data – how are we performing today? What is the appropriate benchmark? How should I be performing? Is there a smarter, better, more cost-effective way?

What I find fascinating about the optimization discussion is the ability to make the intelligence bi-directional. For too long, our decisions have relied on data pushing out to the decision makers (thank you UI/UX geniuses out there).  But what happens when optimization moves into machine-to-machine learning and then AI? The systems or assets have imbedded intelligence to improve their own performance as well as affect the performance of systems, assets, infrastructure all around it. The data is no longer static, with an end decision. It’s living, and dynamic and creating an ecosystem.

I fully expect a disruption to the facilities management (FM) market. New construction is charting an exciting and aggressive path into smart infrastructure. The built environment is catching up too. Albeit slower. New construction or existing, the total cost of ownership for facilities, during a time when workforces are increasingly virtual, is simply too high. Maintenance is too manual, asset life can be unpredictable and expensive to operate, and it’s simply become a burden to P&Ls in every industry.

So where is FM going? What will the disruption look like? Well, I have no crystal ball but I do believe it starts with data integrity. And my experience shows, it’s not pretty. According to Verdantix, “Building technology vendors are investing to help facility decision-makers achieve one of their top priorities – improving the quality of facility data captured, analyzed and reported.” There is whole market out there around simply teeing up facility management firms and building operators to ride the wave of technology and disruption. Data integrity today, AI tomorrow.

Maybe we should call it optimized FM.