FMA in WA – Emma Hendry on “Commercial Buildings as a Platform for Digital Transformation”
The biggest problem that we have to face when trying to solve present and nascent issues of the built-environment – is trying to define exactly what [a Smart City] is and ensuring industry understands the prevalence of the ‘Digital Revolution’ . Unfortunately, there isn’t one answer… It’s very much a ‘fluid state’; a series of tasks and processes that we employ in order to make safer, smarter, sustainable and ultimately more resilient cities and buildings.
What we should be focusing on is understanding attributes which come into play when we consider …the purpose we are using that technology for and the outcomes we can deliver through its use, as what defines a building or city as ‘smart’.
We are entering what is referred to as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ also known as the ‘digital revolution’; the marriage between the physical and virtual worlds, creating a space where people serve as a conduit between the two. The critical factors at play today are Conversion and Integration, Digital Transformation, Culture and available Resources. You don’t put technology in for the sake of including technology, there must be a purpose.
How is the digital environment changing what we do? One of the biggest factors is the way in which it is changing what it means to compete. The economic trends which used to be appropriated to corporations for sustained competitive advantages are no longer diverted towards the corporate sector, but to the consumer. Consider the myriad of apps available to shift the value towards consumers through greater transparency and greater ability for price discrimination.
As we are now leveraging these emerging digital platforms and technology, who then is your competitor? Are they directly within your industry anymore? Or, is it now someone who has the technology to automate and outpace your business processes?
It is predicted that by 2020 there will be over ten billion internet enabled devices deployed, indicative of this huge swing towards Smart Buildings and Smart Technology. This is a sector that even a decade ago was non-existent, today amassing this rapid growth in value. This makes us conscious to the opportunities and threats of the modern-day environment.
Why are we so timid to introduce bold, disruptive strategies? I find it astonishing to see companies doing ‘only what my competition is doing’ and only once they can see whether it has worked or not. You have to be a fast mover if you aren’t currently an innovator. Intelligence comes from what we do with our information and not the information itself. We can use technology as a space for research and development, testing possibilities with clients before a full-scale rollout.
To revolutionise processes, it doesn’t start with the organisation, it is imperative to start with the client & look to the future to work back from the problem. You must consider what is being developed, the key stakeholders internally and externally and their roles; both in development and advancing industry. This is the most important part of our discussion, creating conversations on what we are able to achieve and what value we are able to create alongside our current functions.
At Hendry, we have found that there are disparate data sets creating inefficiencies and restricting transparency in the built-environment and for our clients. We are therefore trying to engage with our clients across their ecosystem, contractors, partners and third party stakeholders, so that we may process and centralise their data and present it as a singular source of truth.
The cost of disparate and inaccurate data sets is what is preventing clients from going forward. Data is your client. It is their information and so you need to be able to efficiently hold onto it, providing insights through into their future and identify historical trends to help direct how we conduct our businesses today and tomorrow.
We used to perform these laborious and cumbersome tasks to put information into a usable format…how can we make a workable [integrated solution] that is sustainable and to make it work for both the individual and the company across the design phase?
In developing the Hendry Group’s strategy, I initially looked at the expense of this new technology and the need to put business cases to clients if it was ever to be adopted. This identified to us the inherent benefits and efficiencies of using our technologies as opposed to current practices, considering the change in return on investment looking forward.
By importing the breadth of data to our Infinity platform, which can process this data through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; we can not only provide real-time analysis and predictive modelling, saving our client’s time by an average of thirty per cent. This data is also exportable directly for use in tenders, reports and other requirements, and can be filtered depending on what types of data or insights you require.