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Facilities Management

Global demand for healthcare FM to hit $165bn this year

The global market for Healthcare Facilities Management is estimated to be worth $165.1 billion in the year 2022, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is projected to reach $222.9 billion by 2026, equivalent to a CAGR of 7.2% over the forecast period.

The latest analysis from Dublin-based ResearchAndMarkets says Soft Services, one of the segments analysed in the report, is projected to grow at a 6.5% CAGR, while growth in the Hard Services segment is readjusted to a revised 8.3% CAGR.

Healthcare FM market worldwide continues to grow at a promising rate. With world confronting challenges in the form of rising incidence of lifestyle related diseases, focus is shifting towards health and better lifestyle that is also expected to bear an impact on the FM market. The growing focus on healthcare sector is thus contributing to the increase in FM revenues.

Specifically in regions such as Europe, where governments are slashing healthcare budgets, there is growing demand for outsourced FM services. The rising threat of lifestyle diseases is also expected to foster improvements in building designs, in order to promote comfortable, productive and active lifestyles.

Increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses, rising disposable incomes of urban people, technological advancements designed to improve healthcare, rapid growth of medical tourism, and support for healthcare sector from government departments in developed and emerging economies are also supporting growth of the healthcare FM market.

The market is also benefitting from the rising expenditure on healthcare and associated infrastructure, growing focus on the aspect of hygiene, and the increasing emergence and use of technologies for maintaining sustainability. Increasing priority being given to patient wellness and safety also bodes well for the market.

Private healthcare institutions are generally more focused on implementing healthcare facility management. The growing demand for outsourced FM services remains a key growth driver for the overall healthcare FM market. The market is being driven in part by the increasing trend of hospitals and other healthcare units outsourcing facilities management.

Also driving growth are factors such as rising adoption of IoT and increasing proliferation of cloud-based solutions are expected to open up new avenues of growth in the healthcare FM market. Latest technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and automated guided vehicles, among others enable the providers of such services to offer improved customer service. IoT provides a steady flow of data in real-time, which allows better decision making and optimization of processes.

Automation is also increasingly being witnessed in energy management systems of hospitals. IoT and AI support energy flow and its optimization in healthcare facilities. There has also been the emergence of several smart products due to the growing IoT adoption. Smart technology can be used to improve door locks, HVAC, alarms, and security cameras, among others, and facilitates the use of mobile devices to control them, which makes remote management of a facility possible and less time-taking.

Another factor fostering market growth is the rising use of healthcare facility management software, which enables clinics and hospitals to perform routine operations smoothly and enhance patient care. It allows healthcare facilities to use their physical resources and perform automation of management functions.

Facilities management services are of two broad types, soft services and hard services. Hard facility management services refer to those that are integrated into facility or building. These are vital to the workplace environment and cannot be removed. Hard services are known to impact all people in the facility, albeit at different levels. Heating, lighting/electrical, plumbing, fire safety systems, air conditioning, and mechanical are some types of hard services.

Soft services category, especially cleaning and pest control segments, accounts for a major share and is likely to grow at a healthy rate driven by the growing importance of maintain clean environments given the highly contaminated surroundings of various healthcare facilities. The cleaning and pest control segment has considerable importance in the healthcare FM market, due to the high degree of contamination in healthcare settings.

Medical waste management is expected to register strong growth in the forthcoming years. Healthcare facilities produce a significant quantity of non-hazardous and hazardous waste on a daily basis that arises from the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Such waste needs to be carefully and safely managed to prevent the spread of infections and diseases and to lower impact on the environment.

Government opens £368m Youth Investment Fund to improve facilities & services

Youth services in the country’s most underserved areas are being encouraged to apply for a slice of a £368 million fund to improve the health, wellbeing, skills and opportunities for young people.

Earlier this year £12 million from the fund was fast-tracked to local youth services where supply was short of meeting demand.

The aim was to cover small-scale capital improvements such as providing new laptops to youth groups, small redevelopments of buildings and facilities, and improving transport, such as providing a new minibus for a youth club so they can keep young people safe and extend activities beyond their local area.

The Youth Investment Fund, designed to create, improve and expand local youth facilities and services, is now open for bids from 45 local authorities and more than 600 district wards in some of the most deprived areas in England.

It will provide funding to build or refurbish up to 300 youth facilities over the next 3 years, providing safe spaces in which young people can socialise and participate in a wide range of activities, including those designed to help support them into employment.

The funding forms part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’ to ensure every young person right across England will have access to regular out of school activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer backed by a £560 million investment.

The guarantee also includes offering The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to every state secondary school for the first time, as well as increased access to social action projects or the opportunity to meet new people and learn life and work skills like money management or public speaking skills through the National Citizen Service.

Minister for Civil Society and Youth Nigel Huddleston said: “We are committed to ensuring that no young person is left out of reach or left behind, and have put it at the heart of our drive to level up this country. I encourage eligible youth services to apply for this life-changing funding.”

Nick Temple, CEO, Social Investment Business said: “All young people deserve access to high-quality youth services and great youth facilities to thrive in life, but youth provision across the country is sadly unequal. That’s why we’re proud to be able to apply our 20+ years’ knowledge and experience of grant programmes and capital projects to design, manage and deliver the Youth Investment Fund.

“Working alongside our partners National Youth Agency, Key Fund and Resonance, we’ll enable up to 300 youth facilities to be built or refurbished over the next three years. This is a wonderful opportunity to prioritise the needs of young people in England and create a more equal society for future generations.”

BBC Children In Need was the grant administrator for the first phase of the Youth Investment Fund and distributed funding to some 418 eligible youth projects in the most in-demand areas which included:

  • The Community Court Yard in Northampton, a social enterprise delivering traditional youth work, bespoke alternative education and creative workshops based on the youth work curriculum. It was awarded a grant of more than £44,740 to fund a vehicle for detached youth work, gaming booth equipment, CCTV and the refit of the gym area. It will help build positive behaviours and communication skills for disadvantaged young people.
  • IMO (Inspire, Motivate, Overcome) Charity in Blackburn and Darwen, which aims to help local young people and their families to combat disadvantage and overcome challenges they face. The grant of £32,155, has funded equipment and furnishings for a new Youth Hub which will provide programmes, activities and a safe environment for young people who struggle at school with their mental health and who are in poverty.
  • Brunswick Youth and Community Centre in Bootle, which provides a wide range of activities for young people, received £10,325 of funding to update a community garden space for the youth community centre. It will help promote wellbeing and healthy eating programmes for young people facing mental health challenges and/or at risk of exposure to gang culture.

Leigh Middleton, CEO, National Youth Agency said: “High quality, universal youth provision supports all young people to have somewhere safe to go, to socialise and learn new skills, with a trusted adult who is skilled and trained to support them.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Social Investment Business on the design and delivery of the Youth Investment Fund. This provides much needed investment for youth centres and dedicated spaces for young people to go in their communities, as part of the government’s National Youth Guarantee.

“Working with SIB, youth sector partners and young people directly, our shared aim is to ensure the funding enables high quality youth work which will have the best outcomes for young people, and for communities to thrive.”

Food waste impacting Net Zero ambitions

Unprecedented pressure on supply chains has led to food buyers in the UK’s biggest organisations reporting a 60% increase in food waste over the last six months.

This surge casts doubt on the food industry’s ability to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, and hampers progress to net zero.

This is according to a new study commissioned by Sodexo UK & Ireland evaluating how large organisations are navigating the current supply chain crisis and its impact on food waste and carbon emissions. It found 83% of respondents say they have created a more resilient supply chain after the pandemic; however, food waste is increasing for a majority of companies.

Sodexo’s research shows that to increase their resilience, UK food supply chain heads are increasingly diversifying their supplier base by working with smaller suppliers, with over a third (38%) doing so. 35% are also looking to source more food domestically.

SMEs form the backbone of this approach with 81% saying the current supply chain crisis has emphasised the need to source more from SMEs. Some suppliers are eager to collaborate further, with 38% agreeing that the sharing of best practice with SME partners in the supply chain to improve efficiencies will best help address the UK’s supply chain challenges.

Commenting on the findings Aoife Wycherley, Head of Supply Chain & Food Procurement at Sodexo UK & Ireleand, said: “Diversifying the food supply chain is essential for building resilience. SMEs can enable greater agility because they’re more flexible, innovative and, tend to drive domestic food sourcing which, in turn, can reduce carbon by cutting down on air and freight usage. This makes having SMEs in the supply chain essential for those that need to maintain supply and meet climate targets.”

Carbon data reporting is, however, a huge burden for small businesses, and we need greater industry collaboration from large organisations to support them with this challenge in order to achieve net zero in the supply chain.

The findings come as Sodexo continues its work with SMEs. These account for three-quarters of its supply chain and for 44% of its spend, enhancing its resilience to continue delivering meals to customers, despite the external market shocks the industry is facing.

Reducing food waste is a critical part of minimising carbon emissions in the supply chain. Despite this, over one third (35%) of respondents admit to deprioritising food waste due to the ongoing challenges in the supply chain over the past year. A similar proportion (34%), however, do support the introduction of mandatory food waste reporting which is proposed in the Government’s recently published food strategy.

Claire Atkins-Morris, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: We welcome the Government’s decision to consult on mandatory food waste reporting, something which we’ve been calling for in our Appetite for Action campaign. The first step towards cutting food waste is tracking and monitoring. More broadly, we urge government to take a holistic approach to all areas which will determine the success of net zero policy making, including food waste, carbon reduction and supply chain resilience. The strategy must be broader than focusing on renewable energy and the introduction of electric vehicles.”

Sodexo, which has pledged to cut its own food waste by 50% by 2025 and achieve net zero by 2045 – found that achieving net zero emissions has become the most important priority for 80% of respondents. Sodexo reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 38.5% in FY21, (against a 2017 baseline measurement of 1.16million tonnes of carbon) across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 which includes emissions from the supply chain. The research also found two-fifths (40%) of food supply chain heads are calling on businesses to adopt net zero policies to future proof a supply chain adhering to science.

Sodexo partnered with WRAP last year in support of the first ever Food Waste Action Week to tackle food waste and help save the planet. Sodexo is also a signatory of The Courtauld Commitment 2030, a voluntary agreement that enables collaborative action across the entire UK food chain to deliver farm-to-fork reductions in food waste.

Keith James, Head of Policy and Insights, WRAP, added: “Through Courtauld 2030, WRAP has partnered with Sodexo to tackle climate change, food waste and water stewardship. Sodexo’s findings relating to a rise in self-reported food waste are worrying, but not unexpected given the pressures put on supply chains in recent years. WRAP will publish data later this year to show where the UK is in terms of tackling food waste, GHG emissions connected with our food and drink, and water stewardship. Every business can make a difference by instigating the Target-Measure-Act approach, but not all have the flexibility to adopt strategies quickly with competing pressures. That is why WRAP published new Scope 3 protocols for measuring GHG emissions linked to the food we make, sell and eat.”

Is your facility prepared for sudden cardiac arrest?

By ZOLL

It happens in a split second. A person collapses — the victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — and the clock starts ticking in the race to restore a normal rhythm to the heart. A rescuer armed with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and performing CPR is the victim’s best chance for survival until medical personnel arrive.

Having an AED on-site in the case of a sudden cardiac arrest can be a life-saving decision. Learn more about SCAs in the workplace with our free educational flyer.

Is your facility prepared for a sudden cardiac arrest? | ZOLL Medical

Moving to the cloud shouldn’t be daunting for Local Authorities

Local Authorities are under intense pressure to escalate Digital Transformation strategies while also dramatically reducing IT costs, achieving public sector sustainability goals and extending citizen self-service access to key services. With stretched in-house resources and a widely acknowledged skills shortage, the existing IT team is dedicated to keeping the lights on for as long as possible.

With many councils asking where they can find the time, resources or confidence to advance a cloud-first strategy, Don Valentine, Commercial Director, Absoft outlines five reasons for why embracing ERP in the cloud right now will actually solve many of the crisis facing public sector IT…

Unprecedented Challenge

Local Authority IT teams are facing incompatible goals. Is it possible to cut the IT budget by £millions per year over the next five years while also replacing an incredibly extensive legacy infrastructure with an up to the minute cloud based alternative? Or improve operational processes and ramp up citizen self-service while also ensuring stretched staff across departments have constant, uninterrupted access to the information and systems they need to be effective and productive?

With so many stakeholders to satisfy, the future looks daunting. But there are many reasons why Local Authorities should be confident to embrace a cloud-first strategy and the latest ERP solutions.

Reason 1: A Cloud Migration can be Tactical

With growing numbers of local authorities reducing building space to cut costs, IT teams are under intense pressure to accelerate cloud migration strategies. With tight deadlines to close on premise data centres, a tactical cloud migration offers tangible benefits, not least a chance to address the punitive cost base. At Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, building closure created a 12 week deadline to migrate its SAP estate, including 128 interfaces, to Microsoft Azure.

By taking a tactical approach, rather than a more complex cloud migration that includes an overview of operational processes, Local Authorities can very quickly achieve a cost effective, future proof IT infrastructure that can become the foundation for on-going innovation and change.

Reason 2: Budgetary Goals can be Achieved

Replacing expensive, dated on premise equipment with a secure, UK based cloud service immediately removes the heavy maintenance costs associated with keeping legacy solutions up and running. It eradicates the burden of perpetual license costs – often for solutions that are no longer required. Moving to a subscription based model also delivers a far more manageable, flexible and predictable annual IT budget. The tactical migration to the cloud undertaken by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council led to an immediate saving of £125,000 in ongoing operational support fees and the enablement of the internal team.

Reason 3: Complexity is Reduced

Far too many Local Authorities have over-specified ERP deployments dating back to the pre-austerity era. Times have changed – and so has the core functionality of ERP solutions. There is no longer any need for expensive add-ons – from payroll to procurement, cloud-based ERP technology delivers the vast majority of operational functionality. This allows a significant rationalisation of the software solution set, minimising complexity and avoiding the expensive upgrade costs that can devastate IT budgets. One large local authority was able to achieve a 40% reduction of server hosts through landscape rationalisation, leading to a 50% cut in hosting costs once in the cloud.

Reason 4: Providing a Foundation for Operational Transformation

Rationalising IT systems also frees up talented staff from tedious and stressful maintenance and support activities to focus on innovation. With access to a state-of-the-art ERP solution, individuals can work to streamline processes and improve automation – especially in areas such as citizen self-service.

This, in turn, will release staff across the local authority from time consuming manual activities, ensuring they can use their experience to deliver the more complex services and provide support to vulnerable citizens. Furthermore, with better information councils can embark upon essential business modelling – a key requirement given the impact of inflation and the collapse in business rates – as well as exploring new areas to add revenue streams, such as expanding existing payroll services to schools and academies.

Reason 5: Achieving Sustainability Goals

Local authorities are also tasked with addressing their carbon footprint, along with the rest of the public sector. Moving away from dedicated on-premises data centres to the cloud will be more efficient and support the sustainability goals. Cloud-based data centres offer far more effective energy consumption: one study confirmed that using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform can be up to 93% more energy efficiency and up to 98% more carbon efficient than on-premises solutions. Plus with a commitment to using 100% renewable energy by 2025, to be water positive by 2030, achieve zero-waste certification by 2030 and to be net-zero on deforestation from new construction, the cloud provider’s investment in sustainability will help the council continually improve its position.

In addition, a fully integrated ERP system provides detailed insight to help understand the broader carbon footprint, from procurement to travel, allowing councils to monitor, report and provide transparency around CO2 emissions.

Conclusion

Any significant IT strategic change can appear daunting – especially for stretched IT teams under huge pressure to cut costs while managing out of date and unsuitable legacy systems. The shift to the cloud, however, is not just achievable; it can be made within a tight timeframe and deliver immediate benefits to both budget and resources. Plus, of course, it provides the foundation for on-going digital transformation and provide access to an array of innovative technologies.

Optimise Building Security with Verkada’s Access Control, AI CCTV, Alarms, Sensors and Visitor Management solutions

Verkada simplifies and modernises facility management by combining all physical security needs onto one easy–to–use platform.

Thousands of facility managers globally are utilising Verkada to protect people, assets and facilities, whilst aggregating data onto one platform for actionable insights to ensure efficiency and productivity.

Video Security: Hybrid cloud cameras offer onboard storage and edge–based processing to reliably deliver insights in real–time.

Environmental Sensors: With a collection of eight onboard sensor readings, monitor for the health and safety of all environments.

Access Control: Manage doors, credentials and users across sites at ease with global access and active directory integrations.

Alarms: Catch and respond to break–ins with cloud–managed intrusion detection. 

Visitor Management: Personalise the check–in experience for all types of visitors while integrating with cameras and access control.

Key Benefits of Verkada’s Hybrid Cloud Solution for Facility Managers

  • Oversee all sites on one cloud–based platform, easily accessible through any web browser or mobile device. 
  • Receive instant SMS alerts when a Person of Interest is on–premise or unusual activity is detected afterhours. 
  • Speed up investigations with AI-powered analytics to quickly filter footage based on what is in frame, including people and vehicles.
  • Eliminate unpredictable costs with no NVRs and DVRs, unlimited user seats, and an industry-leading 10-year warranty.
  • Monitor the usage of a space from Occupancy Trends to optimise business operations. 
  • Protect employee health by identifying environmental changes that can lead to air quality and health issues.
  • Share live feeds, floor plans or archived footage via SMS, MP4, or direct link.

If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for a personalised demo today!

Water-saving will help on energy costs – get additional support from our experienced Advanced Services team

Reducing resource use and improving efficiency are key steps organisations will need to take to retain credibility on green steps they’re taking on their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, to help lower impacts on the environment. 

Although water is under Scope 3 on your emissions, it shouldn’t be looked at last as it can help lower energy costs too. Getting more data on where water is used is an important first step.

Green Apple Environment Award winner Water Plus installed more than 400 data loggers on water meters in the space of six months in 2021 – providing further information on how it’s used across buildings.

Mark Taylor, Advanced Services Operations Manager in England for Water Plus, said: “With energy costs in the news, there are some areas where there are low-cost opportunities and options for organisations, particularly if the number of people at sites is fluctuating through a year. This is why tracking what water is used throughout a year is important.

“As there are carbon emissions linked to the water you get through taps, and the wastewater taken away and treated, it also shows that by just boiling the water you need in work kitchen kettles – to reducing water waste from any leaks, including dripping taps, running toilets from cisterns – and elsewhere at your site – soon adds up to lowering running costs, creating less carbon overall and using less energy too.”

Here’s where water-saving can make an impact:

  • In January 2022, a site had a 12 cubic metre an hour water leak but was not sure where on their pipes. They contacted Water Plus Advanced Services, who located the source of the issue and carried out the repair work. The leak, which data loggers on the water meter and the online portal also tracked, would have cost £22,000 in a month.

Work with organisations by Water Plus is also being recognised this year. The water retailer is shortlisted for Water Efficiency Project of the Year in the Water Industry Awards 2022 and was named a Finalist in the Environment Award at the Better Society Awards 2022.

To contact our team, please email hello@water-plus.co.uk – and include “FM Briefing” in the email subject heading. More tips to #BeWiseOnWater on the FM Forum website here – and at: www.water-plus.co.uk/sustainability .

FM market set for £3bn sales boost in 2022

A new report on the UK’s facilities management market from MTW Research has found that whilst the cost of Covid-19 will exceed £11 billion in lost revenue by 2026, prospects for the market are positive with a £3 billion sales uplift in 2022.

The 100 page report reviews the legacy of Covid-19, highlighting near term labour, profitability and other operational challenges but places this into context within wider positive FM market trends and opportunities, forecasting double digit growth over the next 4 years.

Proptech represents a key positive FM market trend in 2022 according to MTW, with growth in disruptive technology boosting healthy sales opportunities. Discussing this trend, MTW’s director Mark Waddy said: “Trends in FM technology and process innovation are enabling FM providers to develop an ‘empathic response’ to service provision, boosting added value by more closely integrating with the client and anticipating their needs.”

Public sector FM grew share of the FM market in 2020/21 as commercial demand slowed in response to the pandemic.  MTW identify that this trend is now reversing in 2022 though public spending plans published in March 2022 were further revised upward by 2.8%, on top of a real terms increase of £150bn announced in 2021.  This growth, coupled with a steadily strengthening private FM outsourcing sector underlines a fundamental strength in the FM market for the medium to longer term with MTW forecasting the market will reach 98% of pre-Covid sales in 2022.

Despite high inflation, real term growth is set to return in H2 2022 with full year 2023 growth expected to outpace inflation as international and domestic inflationary pressures steadily ease.  However, MTW also identify a number of issues dampening growth prospects.  One example is the trend of insourcing, with caterers, cleaners, security and maintenance contractors having become so well integrated that they are viewed as the ‘lifeblood’ of the organisation and so are adopted as employees.  This trend is often also supported by unions and so has gained further traction as a result.

The report also highlights growing challenges in the TFM market, with a growing trend of FM contractors focusing on specialism rather than broad spectrum service delivery in order to develop more defined brands and enhance margin opportunities.  More selective tender submissions and enhanced margin protection continue to become increasingly evident across the FM market in 2022 as the quality of service rather than volume of contracts grows in significance.  Nevertheless, bundled FM services continue to dominate the market in 2022, rising by more than 13% over the entire review period.

Best performing sectors in recent years according to MTW include the contract cleaning market and security sectors whilst the property maintenance and catering markets performed generally in line with the overall FM market.  By 2026, sales from these 4 sectors alone will generate more than £55 billion of sales in cash terms.

The report also identifies some of the more recent mergers and acquisitions and forecasts M&A will grow rapidly in 2022, underpinned by private equity which continues to price trade buyers out of the market.  As private equity continues to grow share of the FM market, M&A activity is set to rise by some 35% in 2022 compared to 2019 levels.

How IoT connectivity is reaching new heights

IoT solutions utilising SIM-based cellular technology for connectivity are not new – but the speed with which IoT is expanding, embracing ever more exciting and dynamic use cases is both compelling and creating market confusion in equal measure.

From a market which is reaching maturity – the standardised, tried and tested, M2M SIM IoT deployments – to one (e.g. 5G SIM-based IoT) which is largely in its infancy, separating between those solutions that can be bought with confidence and those where continued innovation warrants discussion and consultation, may not be straightforward. And, for these latter cases, choosing the right cellular (SIM) technology and network type will require an understanding of the technical requirements for each use case and the data profile of the asset to be connected. 

With the definition of IoT expanding almost daily and suppliers increasingly jumping on the IoT bandwagon, this is a complex landscape, requiring knowledge, understanding, and expert partnerships. Nick Sacke, Head of IoT Solutions, Comms365 explains how to navigate the maze of options to optimise and future proof your cellular IoT investments…

From M2M to 5G, a Range of Mature – and less Mature – Capabilities

Mass scale IoT Machine to Machine (M2M) deployments have been around for years, since the days of the inception of 2G cellular technology. Now bundled under (the increasingly broad) ‘IoT’ umbrella, the traditional M2M plastic SIM card we all recognise is giving way to soldered circuits inside the actual device, with data plans and automated network selection handled via software and sophisticated portals to manage the data estate. This is a mature market, with deployments that extend from payment for car washers and car valuation booths; washing machines for student accommodation, vending machines and refrigeration display units; to CCTV, access control, smart lighting, and waste bins fill levels. These M2M SIM-based services have become standardised, they are tried and tested, reliable and practical, enabling organisations to introduce the technology into their businesses with confidence.

Moving through the deployment spectrum, now using 4G and 5G where available, deployments have become much more scalable with the deployment of IoT sensors attached to machines and the bidirectional transmission of data to / from applications, allowing companies to achieve far more granular, tracking visibility and remote management of assets such as wind turbines, heavy equipment, power generation and metering infrastructure, anywhere there is signal. Rapidly expanding SIM network connectivity options now include Low Power WAN (LPWAN) variants such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M (Cat M), which have been specifically developed and incorporated into 5G standalone networks to support millions of battery-powered IoT devices in hard to reach places and are enabling enterprises to radically expand the scale of projects from Phase 1 pilots to mass deployments.

Now known as ‘Massive IoT’, millions of devices and assets can be connected and, with extraordinary innovation in sensor devices, the range of use cases expands daily. Soil sensors are being used by farmers to manage scarce water resources in remote regions; sensors in concrete structures can be used both during construction to track curing and post-build to measure compressive strain and concrete health. From water metering to air pollution, waste management and parking control, the combination of networks, devices and big data analytics is creating the foundation for everything from smart cities to sustainable agriculture. The SIM technology selected for all these use cases was based on a range of critical technical requirements including range, scalability, security and low power consumption.

Time Sensitive

Another fast developing and innovative use case field for SIM-based IoT Networks is ‘Critical IoT’, where applications such as real-time vital signs monitoring at home as an extension of healthcare require ultra-reliable data delivery and low delay in getting measurements to back-office systems (‘latency’). This application area is hugely vibrant in its development, with many technology firms delivering innovations in wearable technologies which record both vital signs (heart rate, Oxygen saturation) and location to keep track of individuals wherever they are, and allow care professionals to intervene quickly in an agile, targeted way.

This sector of the market will scale rapidly with the expansion of high capacity, fast, 5G networks, but given the need for reliable data transmissions typically across mobile locations, one network alone may be unlikely to deliver the quality of coverage required. Organisations will need a SIM-based technology option that can ‘roam’, i.e. work with more than one public network operator to hand off traffic seamlessly.

Conversely, for super-low latency, high-volume operations in fixed locations, such as industry automation IoT, private 5G is now a preferred option, offering the chance to prioritise specific data traffic flows – something that is not currently an option across public 5G networks. This is compelling for factories, warehouses, stadiums and large buildings which have poor or massively contended mobile signal indoors and cannot deliver mobile data services reliably.

Clearly, at the end of the spectrum, SIM-based cellular IoT is far more complex than the ‘plug and play’ experience we’ve come to rely on with our Smartphones, requiring design, planning and deployment by experts.

Maximising Potential

With substantial growth in IoT connectivity globally, customers are now demanding simplified contracts and service models from their providers to take care of their requirements – from low power connections for sensors, to high bandwidth applications to connect their real estate assets to provide primary and failover internet access. This is a complex challenge, especially internationally, due to different commercial agreements and service models amongst competing carriers, as well as limitations on certain types of network access on a per country basis (almost all countries have a 4G service, but 5G is a work in progress, and low power network coverage needs to be checked for availability).

Network operators need to be flexible, but have not always proven to be so, allowing the growth and development of a new generation of network aggregators and smaller service providers that are geared to cater to customer needs. Aggregators are now playing a significant role in SIM-based mobile market development and growth, particularly if managed network operators (MNO’s) are inflexible, by negotiating directly with multiple network operators to create a tailored, multi-network solution to support each use case.

There are several questions that should be asked to qualify your provider’s capability to supply IoT, including: How long is the contract? What are the data costs and do they reflect current and future data profiles? Can one network operator provide the full coverage required for all mobile assets, both now and in the future? Can the customer benefit from access to new Low Power SIM technologies including NB-IoT, LTE-M (Cat M) or other IoT connectivity types, including non-cellular, as a blended service? Does the provider offer automation tools to configure, monitor and manage the SIM-based connectivity service, including changes? Does the SIM have automated, built-in failover to a second or third network option if the primary network fails? Is the Core Network of your provider proven to be secure against external threats?

Using a confluence of different networks can be incredibly powerful as a complete solution to connect all parts of a customer’s estate, but it may require a service provider who is capable of orchestrating the multiple SIM-based technologies to acquire the right networks in the asset location and provide seamless provisioning, management and changes via automation to provide a good and reliable customer experience.

Conclusion

5G will transform the landscape for SIM-based IoT. It will provide a step change in capacity, allowing 100,000s of connections per square kilometre, compared to just hundreds today. It will offer more speed, more reliability and, in time, enable the market to provide real Service Level Agreements. But with so many providers jumping on the SIM-based IoT bandwagon it is necessary to ask the right questions to make the right decision for your use case.

This is a fast-evolving market. There is tremendous growth and vitality and energy in the SIM-based IoT area which is hugely exciting. However, in the quest for innovation, let us not forget the mature M2M SIM IoT deployments that offer huge opportunities for business transformation with confidence.

Fundamentally, across the broad IoT spectrum, it is vital to understand the use cases, applications, technologies and the commercials before making final decisions about suppliers and providers.

Global FM market hit $43.4 billion in 2021

The facility management market is growing at a high CAGR because of the rising investments towards infrastructure development and increasing construction activities across different parts of the world.

That’s according to a study conducted by BlueWeave Consulting, which reveals that the global facility management market was worth $43.4 billion in 2021, and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% to reach revenues of around $94.1 billion by 2028.

The growth is attributed to rising investment towards infrastructure development and increasing construction activities along with flourishing tourism in different parts of the world.

Furthermore, the rising adoption of advanced technologies such as cloud computing, SaaS, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), etc., is also offering lucrative growth opportunities.

Increased Tourism

Growing tourism is emerging as the major driving factor for the growth of the facility management market across the globe, with governments, along with private players, significantly investing post-pandemic in developing commercial spaces such as hotels, public houses, restaurants, etc., along with the management of historical sites, which is fuelling the demand for facility management services.

Rising Business Collaborations and Partnerships

With the increasing potential of facility management, several players are adopting various competitive strategies to exploit the growth potential of the market. Strategies such as partnerships, mergers, collaborations, etc., are increasingly becoming common. For instance, Dexterra Group Inc. recently announced the acquisition of the privately-owned TRICOM Facility Services group of companies. This acquisition is aimed at expanding the integrated facility management business unit of the Dexterra Group.

Facility Management Market – By End-User

Based on end-user, the global facility management market is segmented into commercial and retail, manufacturing and industrial, government, infrastructure, public entities, institutional, and others. The commercial segment accounts for the largest market share owing to the rising number of commercial spaces such as offices, hospitals, hotels, airports, sports facilities, restaurants, etc., in different parts of the world. These commercial facilities are opting for in-house facility management services to comply with regulatory guidelines regarding safety and hygiene. However, the manufacturing and industrial segment are projected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period.

Facility Management Market – Regional Insights

Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region dominates the facility management market. However, the Middle East & Africa is also growing at a substantial rate during the forecast period. The economic diversification in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Turkey, etc., and the rising establishment of commercial facilities such as offices, manufacturing plants, hotels, etc., is significantly propelling the growth of the facility management market.

Impact of COVID-19 on Facility Management Market

The facility management market was among the worst affected industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The rapidly escalating COVID-19 cases around the world prompted the government of various countries to impose strict lockdown and social distancing measures. This resulted in the operations of different end users industries of facility management including construction, manufacturing, retail, commercial, etc. The commercial spaces including offices, hotels, airports, etc., were forced to close to prevent the community transmission of the virus. Due to this, the demand for facility management services witnessed a significant drop during the COVID-19 period.

Competitive Landscape

According to the report, the leading market players are Archibus Inc., Trimble Navigation Ltd, Broadcom Inc., Satnav Technologies, FM System Inc., SAP SE, IBM Corporation, Planon Corporation, iOffice Corporation, Oracle Corporation, CB Richard Ellis, Veolia Environment, Colliers International, Planon Corporation, Compass Group, Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, GDI Integrated Facility Services, Inc., EMCOR Group, Inc., and others.