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The rapid advancement of technology in the consumer space means that no two years are the same for the facilities management sector. 2015 was an eventful year which saw a great deal of change owing to human, strategic and tactical developments, and 2016 is looking to be another year of quick progression.

With almost two decades in the FM sector, it’s fair to say that we’ve got a great sense of where the marketplace is and where it’s going. Here’s what we see happening in the FM sector throughout 2016 and beyond.

Data will play an increasing role in decision making

Powerful analytical tools are becoming commonplace in the sector. They provide valuable and accurate insight that can be used to inform top level business strategies as well as day to day operations. This kind of business intelligence is becoming the new standard, and we see 2016 as being a pivotal year for analytics in the industry. If you operate in physical premises, this insight will play an essential part in keeping your business competitive with online operators, regardless of what industry you work in.

Mobile will eventually become the new standard

When we think of facilities management we think about operators sitting at desks in large office spaces, but mobile is challenging this perception every day. In 2016 it’s almost more common to find FMs out in the field working with staff on site in order to get a better understanding of the premises for which they are responsible. FM systems are now being developed with this kind of mobile working in mind, so we expect FM to become more efficient, flexible and productive as a result.

Payment processing will become more efficient

Paying contractors in a timely and cost effective manner is an enormous part of facilities management and can have a huge impact on the quality of service that is delivered. Payment technology driven by consumer trends is slowly beginning to change the game in our industry and beyond. Things like ApplePay and AndroidPay are opening the doors to streamlined electronic payments that are fast, secure and instantaneous. We’ll see this technology advance in 2016 and beyond as it becomes more widespread and more accessible.

The ‘internet of things’ will change the nature of FM

The ‘internet of things’ has become a buzz term describing the interconnected nature of appliances as they communicate with each other online. In the consumer space, this summons up thoughts of Bluetooth coffee machines and wi-fi fridge freezers, but the implications are far reaching and all encompassing. Consider equipment and assets that can self-monitor and automatically report when they need servicing, or work orders that appear and are addressed before a company even realises it is needed? The Internet of Things will change the FM game in a drastic way, and 2016 is going to be a turning point for the industry.

The above trends are primarily based around advancements in technology, but economic, environmental and cultural changes are all capable of having profound effects on our industry. One thing we know for sure is that every year is a potential game changer, and the FM landscape is likely to carry on evolving throughout the course of 2016 and beyond. Watch this space for updates…

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