Commercial & Corporate Real Estate Technology Innovation – What’s Ahead in 2019
One would think, since we have been focusing on technology and innovation for the Commercial and Corporate Real Estate industry for over 20 years, that forecasting major trends for the next 12 months would be an easy task. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Although we have access to an extraordinary amount of insight from both the demand side (real estate owner/operator/occupant) and supply side (technology and solutions providers), it is still difficult to sift through the competing themes and deliver concrete conclusions. Technology, human psychology, organizational structure, financial climate and general market conditions all play into the introduction and adoption of the technologies that will continue to impact the way we design, build, lease, operate, transact and use commercial and corporate space.
Despite the competing opinions, sheer velocity and volume of information and major shifts that are taking place, we are going to attempt to forecast some existing and emerging trends for 2019 as it relates to CREtech, Proptech or any other descriptor for the technology that is influencing the Commercial and Corporate Real Estate industry. These insights have been gathered as a result of thousands of conversations, surveys, webinars, conferences and other events since June of 2018 and are in no particular order.
- Cybersecurity – Out of necessity and risk mitigation, owners and operators of Commercial and Corporate buildings must continue to develop more sophisticated cybersecurity strategies for both information systems and building infrastructure.
- Privacy – As more and more properties become instrumented through smart building and IoT programs, the potential for privacy breaches increases exponentially. US laws combined with international regulations such as GDPR will require additional focus on the topic.
- Proptech Investment Landscape – Billions of dollars have been invested in Real Estate related technology companies since 2008. With over 10 years of investing in place, the industry is looking for clarity in relation to results, exits, mergers and overall trends.
- Building Telecommunications / 5G – New wireless technologies including 5G and CBRS are poised to enter the market over the next 12-36 months. While not yet mainstream today, they are positioned to fundamentally change infrastructure strategies for owners and operators.
- Data / Analytics / AI – The data discussion is 10+ years old and remains one of the highest priority topics. Turning volumes of data into business insight has always been the goal. AI will continue to take this discussion to the next level.
- Single Stack vs. Open & Integrated – There are two fundamental approaches to a Real Estate Information Enterprise with the lines blurring daily. Deciding on a basic architecture strategy remains at the top of the list for issues and trends in 2019.
- Evolving Workplace – WeWork has definitely put a face to the evolution of the workplace. This is just the beginning of a story that could substantially recalibrate how people, own, operate, finance, manage and use office space.
- Experience – Experience is the new mobility. Buildings are now expected to react, communicate, motivate, excite, inspire and educate. This is a big change for most owners and operators and is expected to shift the landscape for tenant engagement.
- Online / In-Store Digital Retail – An integrated retail experience combining online and bricks and mortar is rapidly evolving. While Amazon is a notable leader in North America, all eyes are on Alibaba and China to lead innovation in this space.
- Smart Building / IoT Evolution – The smart, connected, IoT centric journey continues to gain momentum. Corporate Real Estate has jumped in and is showing great interest. Traditional automation stacks and new IoT technology are evolving and blurring.
- Emerging Technologies – AI, Autonomous, Robotics, Augmented/Virtual Reality and Blockchain continue to evolve, yet still have not produced scalable case studies. Most believe they will dramatically change the landscape and continue to pursue cautiously.
- Talent Shortage – The skills shortage includes both technical and business experience. A decline in math and science skills combined with the Millennials' limited business experience and a smaller talent pool to draw from Generation X, are all making it difficult for Baby Boomers to transition out of the workforce.
- Economic Uncertainty – Many Real Estate owner/operators believe there is a possibility of an economic downturn in 2019. While not yet taking dramatic action, they are proceeding with caution. A downturn would initially negatively impact innovation.
- Organizations' Ability to Adopt Innovation – There continues to be a different adoption cadence between owners/operators and solution providers. While the technology might be extraordinary, most organizations have a limited capacity for dramatic change.
- Connecting Technology to Business Drivers – A consistent theme over the last five years has been that the technology should not be the primary focus; understanding what problem you are trying to solve should be the highest priority. As more and more firms focus on strategic outcomes, the tech / business alignment will continue to improve.
These trends and corresponding topics will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming Realcomm | IBcon 2019 conferences, which will be held in Nashville, TN on June 11-14. Register early and save!
This Week’s Sponsor
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UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
The Cloud, IoT, Sensors and More – The NEXT EVOLUTION of Smart Connected Buildings - 4/4/2019
The concept of smart buildings has been around for decades. What’s different now are the multiple generations of technology we have seen throughout the years. At first ‘building automation’ was proprietary and single-source, next came ’connected’ buildings which introduced us to the internet. Today, next-level thinking includes an expanded use of the cloud, the inclusion of non-traditional smart edge devices found within the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, as well as integration into ERP’s other single purpose solutions and multiple telecommunication platforms. While the benefits of a smart connected building are great, the path to success is elusive. This webinar will feature the industries’ most accomplished smart building experts.
Tom Shircliff is a co-founder and principal of Intelligent Buildings, a nationally recognized smart real estate professional services company that was started in 2004. Intelligent Buildings provides planning and implementation of next generation strategy for new buildings, existing portfolios and urban communities. Tom is a speaker and collaborator with numerous universities and national laboratories, a gubernatorial appointee for energy strategy and policy and founding Chairman of Envision Charlotte, a Clinton Global Initiative.
Paul Maximuk is Energy Manager for Ford Land Energy where he is currently is providing project and program technical guidance to implement global metering of electric, natural gas, steam, water and compressed air systems. He is an Energy Engineer with over 30 years of experience in the HVAC/BMS field. He is an SME specializing in building management and energy reduction. Paul has focused his efforts in large industrial facilities but also has equal expertise in Class A buildings. Additionally he is a problem solver finding the root cause of why mechanical systems do not operate at their peak efficiency.
Gordon Echlin is Vice President Marketing and Business Development for Triacta Power Solutions LP, where he has been a management team member since 2009. Prior to Triacta, Gordon was a partner for a boutique venture capital firm, Venture Coaches from 2006 to 2009, and started a telematics company, Netistix Technologies, in 2002.
As a Senior Strategist for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Chris Fine is focused on Aruba’s Smart Digital Workplace initiative. The Smart Digital Workplace combines Aruba’s industry-leading networking technology and a growing ecosystem of partners in technology, real estate, smart furniture, and other specialties, to drive the growth of new experiences for end users and managers in the next gen Smart Office.
Rick has more than ten years of experience in technology and intelligent building engineering. Prior to cohesionIB, Rick served as the Senior Practice Leader at Environmental Systems Design in the Intelligent Building group. He led the technical design of global intelligent building and smart city projects in cities around the globe. He is passionate about designing digital solutions for the built environment that improve the experiences people have and foster the culture around them.
Anne is a high-tech executive with broad experience, starting from software design, architecture, cybersecurity, to managing teams to release telecommunications and enterprise software, building and leading research labs, managing developer relations, and initiating and driving cultural changes. She worked for over 10 years at SAP successively as Director of Security and Trust Research, VP of Platform Research and VP of Developer Advocacy. More recently she co-founded and became the CEO of Workrize PBC.