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IoT: A building manager’s best friend

Posted by Earl Laing | Wednesday, May 25, 2016

By now you've likely heard all the buzz about the Internet of Things. If your assisted living center isn't using this technology, you're putting both staff and residents at a technological disadvantage. The goal of Building IoT is to integrate and customize your facility's management process, making it an intelligent and self-controlling system that turns data into action, reported facility management magazine FacilitiesNet. However, it's that very point that makes building managers nervous for the future of their careers - if technology can do it without them, does that mean they're out of jobs?

Fear not facility managers, IoT is not here to threaten your job at all. Instead, consider it to be your new best friend, as it's really just a useful tool to help you better perform your job by making it more predictable and efficient. 

Consolidating processes saves managers time among other benefits

Challenges of building management often surround predictability, or rather, a lack thereof. The beauty of IoT is its ability to provide real-time updates and analysis of conditions around the building. As a manager, you can keep your building in tip-top shape when you receive real-time feedback on malfunctions. This feature allows you to be everywhere at once, from one, centralized location. Think about it- you'd save a ton of time if you didn't have to physically check inventories and had sensors tell you when and where you needed to report for duty. These sensors track everything from the lights to security to the heating systems, and even have the smarts to monitor the toilet paper dispensers.

Automating inventory management and maintenance management helps catch small problems before they turn into large problems. In other words, automation is great for insurance. FacilitiesNet also pointed out that building managers can personalize the information in the systems for themselves, as well as the community members. While they're monitoring these conditions, they can also create rules if a problem with the condition arises.  

Great for tenants too

The benefits also help managers simultaneously aid the tenants by creating a better quality of life. This technology allows building managers and staff to actively and continuously monitor resident behavior. Sensors pick up on movement patterns, which is data that staff can use to do things like analyze odd behavior as well as diagnose or adjust medications. Devices like FitBits, thermostats, and Apple Watches are all things that can be connected and analyzed for data. This data can be lifesaving as it includes sensors that monitor room and body temperatures, medical devices and security devices like surveillance cameras or smoke detectors, listed tech blog

Overall, this is a big help in safety management as it can do two things. First, it can predict health abnormalities and therefore staff can treat tenants proactively, avoiding expensive hospital bills. However, it can also speed up response time in emergencies which may be crucial to saving lives.