What is keeping 48% of FMs from reaping the benefits of new technology? See what Mitie found

  • Almost half of FMs are missing out on the benefits of digital transformation, with just 7% using new technology to stay ahead of the curve
  • Energy efficiency, security and engineering maintenance are the services likely to be most highly impacted by digital transformation
  • Cost efficiency is the most important factor shaping FM service delivery

by Brianna Crandall — February 3, 2020 — New research from UK-based FM and professional services company Mitie has shown that almost half (48%) of facilities managers (FMs) are missing out on the benefits of digital transformation by not adopting new technology. The report, Digital Transformation: Is Facilities Management Ready?, reveals that just 7% of FMs say they are constantly seeking to identify, trial and implement new technology solutions to stay ahead of the curve.

Almost one in ten (8%) say they are not interested in deploying new technology, with almost a third (32%) saying they will only use mature or proven technology. A further 8% say that, although they are interested in new technology, they simply don’t have the bandwidth.

When asked whether they agreed that facilities management will have undergone extensive digital transformation by the year 2030, four-fifths of FMs (80%) strongly or mostly agreed with this. This suggests that over the next 10 years FMs who are currently wary of new technology will have been convinced otherwise, while those struggling with capacity will have found a way to tackle this restraint.

With over a third (35%) stating that cost efficiency is the most important factor shaping FM service delivery today, any technology will need to prove return on investment (ROI), notes the report. However, energy efficiency, security or access control, and mechanical and electrical (M&E) maintenance are highlighted as the areas deemed most likely to be highly impacted by digital transformation, with many (92% for energy management, 90% for security/access control and 84% for M&E maintenance) citing they were already making progress in digitizing these areas.

For many FMs, the adoption issue is closely linked to a lack of knowledge. Around a third of respondents (31%) reporting lack of internal expertise to select suitable facilities management solutions or a lack of understanding of digital transformation technologies (27%) as the top barriers to investing in digital transformation. Moreover, three in ten (30%) also cited lack of staff expertise to run facility efficiency projects and a lack of staff bandwidth to analyze and act on data (28%) as the top barriers to realizing business value from it.

To help address these issues, Mitie says it has continued to invest in technology and embed it into the range of services the company provides. This includes Mitie’s data-driven Connected Workspace offering, as well as its innovative MiTec center in Belfast, Global Security Operations Centre (GSOC) in Northampton, and Service Operations Centre (SOC) in Bracknell. The insights gained from these technologies and centers of expertise are said to allow Mitie to offer customers an increased level of flexibility and control, bringing the benefits of digital transformation to their FM services.

Carlo Alloni, managing director, Technical Services, Mitie, said:

The research clearly shows that FM departments continue to feel the pressure to deliver cost savings, and although they recognize the need for new technologies and innovations, knowledge and bandwidth are clear barriers to adoption.

While these are just some of the issues the industry needs to address, we hope that this report will help organizations benchmark themselves against their peers and understand the opportunities that digital transformation can bring to their facilities management services.

For the report, independent research firm Verdantix interviewed 100 key decision-makers across a range of FM, corporate real estate and workplace roles. The interviews were completed in March 2019 and were conducted over the phone to ensure high-quality results.

For more information, or to download a copy of the Digital Transformation: Is Facilities Management Ready? report, visit the Mitie website.

Founded in 1987, Mitie’s range of services includes Technical Services (Engineering Services, Energy, Water and Real Estate Services), Business Services (Security, Cleaning and Office Services) and Specialist Services (Care & Custody, Landscapes and Waste Management), for a wide variety of facilities. The company is pioneering the Connected Workspace, using smart analytics to provide valuable insight and deliver efficiencies to create outstanding work environments for customers.