Chairman’s Blog – Nov/Dec 2019

Looking Back at Another Decade of Change…

As we roll in the 2020 decade, we should take a look back at the events and trends that shaped that preceding ten years at what surprised us, and what fell short of expectations.  

  • Co-Working | Space as a Service (SaaS)
    While not totally new back in 2010, the trend towards co-working spaces certainly made great advances in the past decade.  As WeWork dominated business headlines, the underlying story is that fewer companies were leasing and building out their own spaces, opting to let 3rd parties handle those details.  The business model may not yet be perfected, but we can anticipate this trend to continue through the next decade.
  • IoT | Sensors | AI/Machine Learning
    The basic science behind these technologies has been around for q uite some time, but in the 2010’s pricing fell into the commodity range making these advances more affordable.  Now we see all manner of sensor technologies making their way into the built environment.  Taking full advantage of these capabilities has not yet occurred, but we should see quantum leaps in the next decade.  I would argue that building technologies are starting to take advantage of Machine Learning abilities but have not yet reached true Artificial Intelligence capability.
  • Data Analytics
    Corporate Real Estate is one of the last industries to go digital.  With the advent of IoT and sensor technologies, we are now faced with dilemma of what to do with the massive amounts of data these technologies generate.  As a professional population, FM is just beginning to develop the data analytics skills necessary to make sense of this onslaught of information.
  • Wellness | Well-Being | Engagement
    In the latter half of the last decade we witnessed a groundswell of interest in the topics of wellness, well-being and employee engagement.  Fueled by low unemployment and the resulting war for talent, corporations suddenly decided they need to care about how employees feel about their work and workplace.  Sorry to sound a bit cynical, but I suspect if unemployment begins to rise – general interest in these areas will decline – driven by the whims of profit motive.
  • Climate Change
    The world became woke to the looming climate crisis.  Although advances have been made in renewable energy and carbon reduction strategies, there was less than satisfactory progress on the geopolitical front.  For the sake of future generations, let’s hope for more promising developments in the next decade.  Please vote your conscience and principles…
  • The FM Profession Comes of Age
    Since its inception, IFMA has made it a priority to advance the FM profession.  While there were many accomplishments in this area in the past decade, we can highlight a few standouts;
    • The IFMA Foundation continued to advance accredited degree programs in Facilities Management around the world
    • 11-3013 – Facilities Managers was added to the Bureau of Labor Statistic Standard Occupational Classification list in 2018
    • ISO 41001:2018 Facility Management – Management Systems standard was ratified and published

They say hindsight is a great asset, but examining the past is not always a good predictor of the future.  I certainly did not foresee many of the preceding developments as the unfolded.  Let us know what’s appearing in your crystal ball forecast for this next decade.

Since we’re just returning from the holidays, this newsletter will be brief and just include some of the upcoming webinars, new members and FMJ articles.  

As always, we hope you find the newsletter enlightening…
Dean Stanberry