Corporate Real Estate Data Management & Process Automation – Are We Making Progress?
What are the crucial elements for making a company run smoothly? The first obvious answer is people. Employees are the most important aspect of an organization and also the costliest. The second major component for success is the company buildings that house employees. After all, a safe, comfortable, enjoyable and engaging workplace is critically important to a functioning organization.
Providing a leading-edge workplace is a complex and difficult task, especially as business demands change. Some buildings are owned, some are leased, companies grow or shrink, some workplace functions become outdated, costs continue to rise, and keeping the occupants happy is an endless job. Managing these buildings involves a multitude of processes; from initiating and closing out maintenance requests to keeping track of leases, there are many moving parts and subsequently, many pieces of information.
One would think that in 2017, most corporations would have all of these processes in place, with data organized in comprehensive and sophisticated corporate real estate and facility information systems. Data flowing from process to process, alerts for important events, and providing strategic insight are all benefits that result from well designed and implemented integrated information systems.
Over the last 20 years, the industry has been struggling to get this data into the right systems and to deliver on the promise of automation. It has been said time and time again, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” and corporate real estate is no exception. The digital journey to organized real estate and facility data began in spreadsheets, moved to CAFM and CMMS systems, migrated to IWMS, then to point solutions, data warehouses, and now data lakes.
When you survey the corporate landscape, there is no single trend. Some firms have elected IWMS platforms as their foundation while others are combining best of breed point solutions around an open data architecture, once a warehouse and now a lake. However, there is no doubt that the Corporate Real Estate industry is not innovating to the proper levels with respect to data aggregation, integration and process automation. This is especially true when compared to the commercial real estate sector that continues to fine tune automation systems that have been around for 30+ years.
The industry is getting a little push through governance and is now being forced to get their data organized. FASB IFRS 16 Lease Accounting Compliance, which will be in full force by January of 2019 for public companies, is forcing companies to recognize all their leases for both real estate and equipment. While this seems like a simple task, the fact that many leases remained off books means companies are scrambling to get the data into the right system in order to satisfy compliance requirements.
While FASB will improve the state of data and process automation in the corporate real estate industry, why is the administrative push needed to accomplish this effort? With so much at stake, why has the industry been resistant to getting their information better organized?
After consulting with very experienced professionals in the industry, these are some of the reasons that were provided:
- There has been a lack of a consistent commitment by the industry solution providers
- Industry solutions have not kept pace with modern computing technologies i.e. cloud, mobility and software platforms
- Industry solutions have been expensive and difficult to implement
- Internal project leaders often leave before the project is completed
- Solution providers change often and sometimes abandon previous automation efforts
- Real Estate professionals do not possess the comprehensive IT skills required
- IT departments have traditionally shown little interest in Real Estate automation
- Real Estate departments have had difficulty in obtaining funding for automation
- Complex Real Estate automation strategies have been difficult to develop
Corporate Real Estate information strategies will be front and center at CoRE Tech 2017 in Silicon Valley on Nov. 14 & 15. IWMS best practice case studies, an investigation into traditional as well as new point solutions, and great debate on the merits of data warehouses (now data lakes) will all be part of this exciting program.
There is simply nowhere else in the world where true thought leaders and experienced practitioners will discover, discuss and debate the topic of corporate real estate and facility information management and process automation than at CoRE Tech 2017!
This Week’s Sponsor
AwareManager provides facility management solutions for the world’s most recognized facilities and organizations, including world-class commercial and residential property portfolio management firms, corporations, sports organizations and hospitals nationwide. Visit www.awaremanager.com.
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
Commercial Real Estate Digital Transformation - Managing the Change - 1/18/2018
The Commercial Real Estate and the Technology industries operate at very different speeds. Real estate is long-term, slow moving, and relies on practices that have been refined over the last 50 years. Tech, on the other hand, moves at lightning speed with constant updates and innovation. This webinar will focus on the extraordinary change management required to digitally transform a commercial real estate organization. Executive sponsorship, accelerated collaboration, dual strategies and other programs that will best enable this transformation will be addressed. In addition to operational changes impacted by tech, the webinar will also cover tech’s influences on other industries’ business models and how that affects the way we use space.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Bob Rybak Is the CIO at Morguard, a leading Real Estate Investment and Property Management firm based in Toronto, Canada. Bob has been an IT professional, entrepreneur and frequent consultant for almost three decades, working in both the public and private sectors. A graduate of the University of Toronto with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Bob's professional experience has spanned many different companies in a wide range of industries.
Sandy Jacolow joined Silverstein Properties in 2011 as Chief Information Officer, a role in which he oversees the technology initiatives that support the company's financial, operations and development, including the World Trade Center, and Silver Suites activities. Sandy has been active in the real estate industry for nearly 35 years with a focus on the institutional advisory, property management and brokerage markets.
Alex Stanton has over 20 years working with in the real estate application space. Currently as VP of Solution Consulting for Yardi Systems, he leads the solution presales team, who work with customers and prospects to explore how to address business needs. Alex’s recent areas of focus has been to work with clients on the real estate specific applications of cloud, mobile, 'big data' and energy.
Marc Petock is a pioneer in leading the Intelligent/Smart Buildings and M2M movements pushing the industry forward and has contributed to transforming and changing the Intelligent Buildings and M2M (now IoT) industries. As VP, Marketing for both Lynxspring and its sister company, Connexx Energy, heleads corporate and product marketing, strategy, brand management, PR and communications that support the company’s strategic and growth initiatives. Previously, Marc was VP, Global Marketing and Communications at Tridium. Marc is also a contributing author, noted speaker and recognized industry leader having earned several industry accolades. He serves on the board of directors of Connexx Energy and Project Haystack; is an advisor to the Realcomm and a contributing editor to automatedbuildings.com.
Dave Clute has been AEC/FM/IT Design Professional for over 35 years. He spent 10 years at Cisco Systems and 5 years at Zurich Insurance before he joined ESD in 2017. Dave is currently leading the Intelligent Building Practice for ESD Global.
Scott Sidman has 14 years of CRE technology experience leading sales and marketing efforts. He is responsible for supporting company growth goals and assuring company and product direction aligns with market needs as well as leads. Scott is CRE tech evangelist and host of a CRE Tech Talks podcast.