Facilities Management Meets the Cloud
10/31/2013 8:39 AM
Submitted by P. Barry
The digital age has ushered in a fully integrated era, everything from HVAC controls to service requests are centralized in the ‘Cloud.’ What this means for facilities management is efficiency. The impact of the Cloud is far reaching:
1) Data Center Consolidation
Before, each business required on-site mainframes for their data. Now, the Cloud is ubiquitous; server spaces across the globe host all the companies’ information. This clears up office space and reduces fixed overhead.
2)Monitoring and Management
Improvements in computing and data collection have facilitated descriptive analytics for facilities managers. They are able to review real-time data and analytics to make informed decisions from anywhere in the world, 24/7. In many cases, the centralized cloud-based systems deliver more comprehensive information quicker and more accurately than on-site staff are able to. Additionally, automated warnings for anomalies make identifying potential problems fast and easy.
The aforementioned comprehensive data collection and analysis has saved companies immensely by cutting down on wasteful use of HVAC systems. Facility managers can deliver climate controls when and where they are needed, creating substantial savings over time. This represents one of the largest opportunities for long-term savings.
4) Disaster Recovery
By utilizing the Cloud, corporate data exists on remote servers with multiple redundancy. This avoids the pitfalls inherent in the old adage ‘never keep all your eggs in one basket.’ If one server fails, the information always exists on another. In the event of a fire or natural disaster, the data, often the most valuable asset of the company, is safe.
5) Flexible Server Space
Cloud computing allows businesses to expand and contract their data storage needs on a whim, eliminating wasted space and the expenditure that accompanies it.
The ‘Cloud’ concept represents the one of the most significant advances in computing; it is readily accessible, secure, and efficient. Applying it to facilities management means gaining an immense competitive edge over rival firms that have not.