The FM Professional

A Year in Review: How True Were Our 2015 Predictions?

David Spence
January 19th, 2016

Now that 2016 is well underway, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year in facility management. More than 12 months ago we made a few predictions about the direction facilities management would take in 2015. It’s almost always impossible to predict where the market is going to go, but we did our best!

Looking back, some of our predictions were pretty spot on; others were a bit off the mark. Let’s examine our industry predictions of 2015 and see how they stack up next to what actually happened.

1. The rise of smart buildings

Facility Management Smart Buildings

We predicted that smart building technology—which would enable managers to anticipate equipment failures and track space use among employees—would continue to grow over the year. Smart buildings did see significant growth in 2015 in terms of upgraded sensor technology and its integration with facility management software. In fact, research suggests that the market for smart building spending will expand to $17.4 billion in 2019. We’re looking at some serious growth in the future.

One of the biggest developments in this sector was the announcement of 5G technology. 5G is primed to be a incredible innovation that’s going to make smart building technology accessible to companies of all sizes. It’s definitely an innovation to keep your eye on moving forward.

2. Pushing real estate analytics

Real Estate Analytics Prediction

Smart real estate companies are continuing to emphasize the importance of big data and its role in building management. However, since the implementation of smart building technology and the creation of new best practices take time, the integration of large scale real estate analytics didn’t grow at the rate we had foreseen.

However, as smart sensor technology becomes more readily available and the data becomes easier to process, expect this subset of the facility management field to continue to grow.

3. Increased collaboration

Collaboration In Facility Management

With the integration of new technology and higher levels of data management within the facility management field, we predicted that businesses would require larger teams that span multiple disciplines. However, 2015 didn’t see as much growth as we anticipated in terms of collaboration efforts.

We still argue that this trend will increase in importance in the future. Since the role of the facility manager is to properly manage a building in many different aspects, we’ll likely see other players step up to help organize and understand this important role. As more large scale data becomes available, other departments will potentially capitalize on this to improve their own processes.

4. Long-term sustainability

Sustainability In Facilities Management

Sustainability is not only good for the environment; it’s good for business. The recent developments at COP21 are placing even more pressure on local governments to implement more sustainable private sector policies. Additionally, sustainability is becoming even more vital in the eyes of business owners who want to both reduce their environmental footprint and be seen by the public as a conscientious company.

New energy management technologies allow facility managers to create more energy efficient workplaces, which helps to reduce business expenses across the board. Energy management will only continue to become more important for years to come. We expect to see facility managers play a big role in this burgeoning sector.

Most of the trends we predicted for 2015 continue to be relevant for this year too—although some are developing faster than others. Though our predictions may not always be 100% correct, what we can be sure of is that facilities management will continue to grow in unexpected ways as technology becomes more and more integrated into the field.



Photo credit: Bychykhin Olexandr / Shutterstock, Ricky Kharawala, McLac2000, Startup Stock Photos, Public Domain Pictures