IIoT beyond sensing into intelligent actions

In 6 million Commercial Buildings in the U.S., there are billions of light switches, bulbs, thermostats, motion sensors, smoke detectors, HVAC systems, etc. These can be devices controlled manually, connected to legacy systems such as semi-automated HVAC systems, or new devices connected via the Internet, commonly referred to as IoT devices; Gartner, Forrester, and others project the number of IoT devices in commercial facilities to go past 4 billion by 2020; we are measuring a lot, but are we taking actions?

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There are over one billion of IoT devices in commercial buildings, and that number is projected to grow by 400 percent by 2020.

Even with automation systems, Hotel & Office building management groups report that over 30 percent of the operational cost in their facilities is for reactive maintenance, dealing with outages, and performing manual processes associated with device asset management and control. Energy Star reports that 30 percent of the $100B energy bill of commercial buildings is wasted due to mismanagement.

In 5.6 million commercial buildings in the US, the inefficiencies related to manual discovery, monitoring, reactive maintenance, and management of thermostats, lights, sensors, HVAC systems, and other devices consume more than 30% of their operational cost.

Over one-third of these labor and power consumption related inefficiencies can be addressed with proper visibility, management, and monitoring of all connected devices. Further improvements can be achieved by applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to the massive amounts of data generated by connected devices in commercial buildings.

A fundamental challenge is the lack of protocol standards and lack of interoperability between systems manufactured by GE, Johnson Controls, Philips, Samsung, and Honeywell, among others. It is becoming increasingly difficult for facility managers and operators to have a comprehensive view of the different systems used in one or multiple buildings or hotels under management. Operations, Maintenance, Asset Management and Financial Planning across all these systems requires an increasing percentage of manual labor, prone to errors, lack of predictability, and inefficiencies.

With thousands of different devices from many manufacturers, dozens of protocols and communication standards and lack of understanding how the action of devices in one system can affect the operation of other systems, if one wants to venture beyond sensing into automated operations, technology is creating additional problems for the operation of commercial buildings.

Many years ago, a similar problem emerged with the explosion of IT devices. Cloud-based software to automate Operations, Service, and Asset Management solved that problem; a similar approach is needed to address the rise of IoT devices which is 100x larger in scale compared to IT devices.

To realize the promised value of the Internet of Things and the growing number of connected devices in commercial facilities, we must move beyond sensing into intelligent control.