In our Digital Disruption edition of The Tech Savvy Executive, we defined the Internet of Things. In this edition, we’re exploring how IoT relates to smart buildings, and what this means for data and facilities management.

Research reveals that IoT offers an explosion of connected possibilities. The constant growth, innovation and development in the connected technology space cannot be overstated. In 2003, for example, 0,5 billion connected devices existed across the globe. This year, just 14 short years later, that number stands at 28,4 billion – and is expected to increase to 50,1 billion by 2020.

This entails limitless applications, and demands an onslaught of innovation in everything from business processes, to best practices and cloud applications. At Inforum 2016, Infor COO Pam Murphy announced that modern IoT requires “an initiative to move into the age of collected intelligence.” With the heretofore unheard-of volumes of real-time data that IoT will generate endlessly, Murphy maintains IoT will significantly change the way enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other business applications work.

ERP serves to integrate all aspects of an organisation’s operations, ensuring that product planning, development, manufacturing and sales and marketing work together to create a streamlined business and achieve the company’s overall objectives. As such, ERP is considered a vital organisational tool – one that is essential in integrating the various systems present in a smart building.

This business process management software integrates applications, allowing users to manage their business and automate administrative functions related to technology, services and human resources. By integrating core business processes in real-time, business resources are accurately tracked, as is the status of business. With the right software, this data can then be shared across the various departments to facilitate a seamless flow between all business functions and stakeholders.

A research report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services entitled Smart buildings: How IoT technology aims to add value for real estate companies, reports that; “The Internet of Things (IoT) is already having a significant impact on the CRE (commercial real estate) industry, helping companies move beyond a focus on cost reduction. IoT applications aim to grow margins and enable features such as dramatically more efficient building operations, enhanced tenant relationships, and new revenue generation opportunities. Consider the increasingly popular smart thermostats that intuitively adjust the temperature, humidity, and light based on residents’ preferences and climatic conditions.”

The report goes on to confirm that realising the IoT’s full potential motivates a framework that captures the series and sequence of activities by which organisations create value from information.

“The value created from the information generated by IoT-enabled buildings has the potential to widen the lens on value creation beyond location through a level of efficiency and effectiveness that could distinguish buildings within a marketplace from a desirability and profitability standpoint.”

Combining the power of IoT and smart buildings requires applications that can connect systems, manage the data found within these systems and optimise this information. By doing so, the power of the data is leveraged and becomes a critical business tool, rather than a ‘nice to have’ piece of technology that effectively gathers dust (and a whole lot of unusable information).

Strategic IoT solutions must be developed, specifically geared towards smart buildings, to ensure that both ERP and facilities management functions are enhanced. After all, as Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) once said; “Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”

For more from Infor COO, Pam Murphy:

For more on ERP software:

To read the Deloitte research report: