Digitisation like flowing water

Written by
Joop Bosman
Published on
21 December 2018
Category
Blog

Disruption has become the new standard. Everything continues to develop and become connected almost without noticing.

Digital transformation is more than just 'making things easier'. We are now seeing business models that were unthinkable not so long ago. Also in building management. With data like 'the new oil', numerous possibilities emerge to radically change our relationship to buildings. But that also brings challenges, says Joop Bosman, head of ICT at Strukton Worksphere. For example: as people, how do we relate to this digital environment?

In recent years, everyone has seen the so-called 'disruptions' happening around them. The turbulent growth of e-commerce in the noughties, the surprising emergence of new business models in the taxi world and hotel sector (Uber and Airbnb) and the storming success of streaming services for music, films and series (Spotify, Netflix). These examples underline what the core of the digital transformation is: new revenue models that were totally unthinkable until recently. Usually with solutions 'as a service' and subscription forms. Whether it's a washing machine at home or the lighting of a football stadium, cars or office furniture: we are shifting from ownership to service, from linear to circular, from buying to sharing.

A holistic view on buildings
What does this development mean for the management and maintenance of buildings? We equip smart buildings with tens of thousands of sensors which provide us night and day with what we call 'the new oil': data. Smart algorithms refine this data into very useful control information. We make this knowledge available in a clear form to managers. And the new knowledge makes our maintenance more predictable. The result: fewer faults and a longer lifespan for installations. Energy performance can also be predicted, including the considerable savings that can be made.

And that's just the start. Meanwhile we are also taking the step to totally taking over building management. A holistic approach by which we keep our finger on the pulse regarding a whole range of factors, focusing too on the experience of the users. Whether it's students, passengers, patients or office staff: everyone wants to feel comfortable in a building. And employers in turn are keen to offer their employees a healthy indoor climate. Because a happy employee is more productive and less often ill. Environmental factors that influence this can be measured via sensors. Thus our new proposition 'haeppey' makes it possible to monitor the health performance of a building in real time. And on that basis to then turn buttons if low-threshold improvements are possible.

That new technology in buildings links seamlessly to the changing world of modern users. They take for granted that based on your diary, a parking place is kept free in the car park and a work place reserved. That the coffee is ready when you arrive without ordering it. And that you can adjust the temperature at your individual workstation. The rapidly developing gadgets and domotics which the new generation uses at home also determine their expectations for their working environment. Ten years ago, it was the reverse situation: then we took home the cool things we had at work!

No shock waves, but fluid changes
Disruption has become the new standard. But that's also a paradox. Because it means that technological progress no longer causes big shock waves, but a constant, almost fluid stream of changes. Everything continues to develop and become connected almost without noticing. So that you are constantly surprised: 'What, is that possible now too?' Performance reaches the point of 'excellence' and that level becomes the norm. 'Good enough' is no longer an option.

Everything that was once 'stupid' and not connected is now 'smart' and connected. Cars, buildings, ports, towns and ultimately even our bodies. This transformation also means than anything that can't be digitised is of immeasurable value. Think of unique human values and skills like creativity, the power of the imagination, intuition, emotion and ethics. Thus technology constitutes the 'how' of the change while people determine the 'why'. It is therefore no threat, but an addition. In the new business models and eco systems, the skill is to embrace the inevitable innovations without getting submerged in them. By using them and transcending them.

‘Everything that was once “stupid” and not connected is now “smart” and connected. This transformation also means than anything that can't be digitised is of immeasurable value. Thus technology constitutes the “how” of the change while people determine the “why”.’

‘With data like “the new oil”, numerous possibilities emerge to radically change our relationship to buildings. But that also brings challenges. Like: as people, how do we relate to this digital environment?’

Joop Bosman

Disruption has become the new standard. Everything continues to develop and becomes connected almost without noticing.

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