3 Steps in Planning a Smart Office
First, what is a smart office? The BIoT (Building Internet of Things) is an environment in which everything is connected at the intelligent digital edge to reduce energy consumption, improve productivity and increase operational efficiencies.
If you’re considering investing in your building’s IQ, take a look at these guidelines.
Step 1: Identify goals
Currently, the rate of smart office adoption is low. Industry experts estimate that by 2020 only one in five buildings will be smart supporting up to 50 billion connected devices.1 That may be because there is no set standard as to what constitutes a smart office and each organization has its own requirements. Here’s how you can establish yours.
Begin by enlisting all relevant stakeholders including representatives from IT, facilities, infrastructure, operations, business analysis, finance, and other affected departments, such as sales and marketing. Next, identify what problems need to be solved and what goals everyone wants to achieve. The key is to identify what can be fixed with intelligent solutions at the digital edge.
Next, consider which goals are the highest priority and should be implemented first. What’s more important, open space utilization, automated HVAC or LED lights. Sometimes if a project is too complex, it becomes overwhelming causing deployment to stall or be abandoned. This is where an outside partner can help map out a smart building strategy and implementation plan.
Step 2: Budget
After you’ve established your smart office goals, work with a strategic partner to get accurate budget figures. As with any IT deployment, there is the cost of the actual products/solutions. Then there is the cost of the implementation. Both can vary greatly depending on if it’s a new building or a retrofit. Don’t forget to budget for end user education as well as post-deployment system management.
Step 3: RoI
This is probably the hardest challenge of all.
Some goals may be easier to quantify than others. For example, the EPA estimates that the typical commercial facility wastes 30% of its energy.2 So building managers and facilities teams may be able to easily produce numbers on how much energy can be saved with an IoT-enabled HVAC or smart lighting.
You may also be able to estimate the RoI from increased user productivity gained from unrestricted mobility and collaboration in terms of time efficiencies. Harder, though, is to estimate the RoI from increased user satisfaction.
A study by The World Green Building Council found 81% of workers have a difficult time concentrating if the temperature is higher than they’d like, while 62% say it takes up to 25% longer to complete a task when they are too hot.3 Lighting systems that mimic daylight and pump extra oxygen in the air after lunch to combat that mid-afternoon slump make workers more productive.4 Intelligent temperature, lighting and ventilation controls can seamlessly make workers more contented and thus more productive. A 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report cited a study in which 79% of executives said the employee experience was important/very important.5
Implementing a smart building now can pay back dividends well into the future. Smart buildings attract more tech savvy employees and the digitally literate workforce just keeps growing. It’s estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce.6
The Master Plan
If you’re thinking about implementing intelligent digital edge technologies in your building, talk to Black Box first. With our extensive knowledge of technology, operations, and global deployments, we can design, deploy and manage a smart office solution customized for your organization.
Contact us to learn how to begin your smart office transformation.