Building managers and facilities services firms risk missing out on high-return facilities optimization initiatives if they don’t invest more time understanding the value of innovative technologies. This is the main finding from new research into 54 software and hardware solutions for energy management and facility optimization conducted by independent research firm Verdantix.

“Building managers already have access to a lot of proven and mature technologies to optimize facilities from boiler controls through to voltage power optimization. Today, there are many emerging technologies that will help organizations squeeze more cost savings from space, energy and operations, as well as support the transition to smarter, more user-centric buildings” commented Verdantix Managing Director, Rodolphe d’Arjuzon, co-author of the report.

Independent research firm Verdantix conducted a fact-based assessment of 26 software solutions and 28 hardware technologies to clarify the business value, pace of innovation and maturity level of each solution in the recently published reports, “Tech Roadmap: Facilities Optimization Technologies” and “Tech Roadmap: Facilities Optimization Software”.

The two Verdantix Tech Roadmaps help buyers prioritize investments in a range of hardware and software solutions that support facilities optimization. Suppliers can use this analysis to improve their own product roadmaps by adapting them to include early stage technologies that are showing high potential for growth and business value delivery. The study assesses technologies according to the strength of the commercial proposition and in five development phases: research and development, commercial launch, growth, maturity and decline.

Verdantix analysis highlights the following key trends:

• The Internet of Things trend is having a significant impact on the technologies available on the market as vendors launch increasingly connected equipment and cheaper sensors. Customers looking to get value from growing data volumes will require new software solutions such as IoT integration platforms and IWMS.

• Software solutions to manage buildings contain increasingly powerful analytics, from the realm of AI such as deep learning, that enable the continuous optimization of building systems and assets. These do not always assume the retrofitting of lots of sensors and will use any readily available data to enable the real-time analysis of space utilization for example.

• The latest generation of energy management technologies are linked to the transition to a new energy system with more decentralized energy, include building-level batteries, microgrid management systems and remote controls for decentralized power generation.

• There is continuing integration of data analytics and asset control in many solutions such as demand response, automated guided vehicles, fault detection and remote management solutions.

“With the growth of connected devices and sensors, there is a dramatic increase in the amount of data being produced by buildings. Building managers that want to get value out of this boom in data will be forced to review how to incorporate new software solutions and IoT platforms into facilities management investments” commented Verdantix Analyst, Ibrahim Yate, co-author of the report.