Future of facilities management
Facilities management also involves communication systems, project management, human capital and considerations for the environment, says Themba Gumbi, Director at BT-SA.
Facilities management is a broad term that brings together many different aspects in ensuring your business keeps running like a well-oiled machine. It is vital to the functioning of a business, and more often than not, does not get the attention it rightfully deserves.
The goal of effective facilities management is to ensure the smooth running of the practical aspects of a business, eg, phone lines, electrical services, air conditioning, employee safety, meeting building codes and ensuring the work environment is both healthy and supportive for clients and employees alike.
"BT-SA promotes the concept of intellectual facilities management. We've provided ICT infrastructure to businesses for the past 35 years, focusing on assisting businesses with integrating their infrastructure to meet their needs. However, we also provide management of facilities and infrastructure to keep your business running hassle-free," says Themba Gumbi, Director at BT-SA.
For many businesses, it makes perfect sense to appoint a single vendor that can manage all their facilities; from security systems, to laying optic cables and servicing the air conditioning. Not only is it cost-effective, it also gives the company the added benefit of focusing on its core business.
"There's a lot to consider in terms of facilities management. It's not just about taking care of the building's facilities and keeping them in good condition. It also involves communication systems, project management, human capital, and considerations for the environment. If the infrastructure that supports the smooth running of a business is neglected, it may result in a negative impact on the business itself," explains Gumbi.
The digital revolution is having an impact on the facilities management industry, and today, a building is no longer just bricks and mortar, it's a rather complicated piece of machinery. The Internet of things (IOT) is continually gaining ground, and will undoubtedly influence how businesses are run in the future. While, at this point, cost may be a factor in not pursuing IOT, the reality is that most systems will eventually need some sort of IOT integration in the coming years; at the very least, a central hub from where devices are operated and monitored.
Automation is also something that businesses are moving towards, and with the advent of IOT, it can become a reality. As businesses embrace the way that technology can streamline day-to-day tasks, they move towards a more automated workplace where employees can be more effectively utilised, ensuring a more productive environment.
"Businesses have no time to waste as far as adapting to new technologies and deploying them in facility management. The digital age is transforming the way we do everything, and we at BT-SA are forward-thinking where this is concerned. Digital is already here," says Gumbi.