As much as 93 percent of Sweden's property owners have invested in IoT and connected solutions for the operation and management of their buildings over the past three years. At the same time, eight out of ten (82 percent) would like to invest further in connecting their properties. This is shown by Schneider Electric's new report "Smart properties - Trend report 2019", which is a follow-up to the company's IoT report 2017.
Nearly nine out of ten interviewees (88 percent) state that it is mainly for financial reasons that they want to invest more in digital solutions for their properties, closely followed by environmental / sustainability (75 percent) and security reasons (70 percent). Compared to 2017, security has become an increasingly important driving force for investing in solutions within IoT and connected properties. 70 percent say that it is one of the most important reasons, which is an increase of twelve percentage points.
“Connected properties are of great importance, from both a sustainability and a strategic operational perspective. Data from hundreds of sensors are analyzed and visualized in real time, giving a clear picture of the entire property operation. Properly used, the technology can enable both operating costs and energy consumption to be lowered. Smart real estate also frees up time and opportunities for property managers to work more strategically and proactively,” says Andreas Finnstedt, Head of Digital Energy at Schneider Electric.
Many real estate companies are still suffering from having built up silo environments in their properties. Managing parallel systems poses major challenges. It becomes difficult to get a holistic picture and use potential synergies, which makes operations time-consuming, inefficient, and reactive.
“It would be interesting to look at the gains that the Swedish real estate companies could make if they were able to take a holistic approach and acquire a platform where all systems work together. This is a development that has come much further outside Swedish borders and that we are likely to see more of here in Sweden in the coming years” says Andreas Finnstedt.
The most common reason why more buildings are not more connected is because there is no money. As many as 72 percent of real estate companies state that they do not have enough resources to connect the buildings further. Compared to the survey from 2017, the proportion has increased by 6 percentage points. This proportion is particularly high in the private sector.
“We are still in a situation in Sweden that is similar to catch 22. The main reason why property owners want to digitize their portfolio is to save money. At the same time, finances are the biggest reason why investments do not get made. We are convinced that the industry's way forward is to increase the rate of digitization and innovation and to strive for common standards that are based on open, secure and scalable systems so as to parry for today's perceived high investment costs when systems are patched and tailored” says Andreas Finnstedt.
About the report / survey:
The survey was carried out by the research company Industrifakta on behalf of Schneider Electric. Industry facts have conducted 125 telephone interviews with real estate companies in March and April 2019. The interviewees held one of the following titles: operations manager, energy manager, property manager or technical manager. The real estate companies interviewed have been divided into three categories based on the focus areas: Private offices (commercial real estate), municipal premises (public sector; schools, etc.) and county council premises (public sector; hospitals, etc.).
# Municipal premises - 47 interviews
# Private office - 70 interviews
# County Council Rooms - 8 interviews