Is there one right way for enabling Digital Transformation in the Commercial Real Estate Sector (Operations & Maintenance)?

Nov 01

Hello Everyone,

This month, Insights-as-a-Service turns 1. Our encounter with Commercial Real Estate and Smart Buildings sector (dates back to SBC days) was almost a coincidence, but not anymore. Today Insights-as-a-Service while still in it's early days, provides the most complete coverage of O&M and Sustainability aspects of built environment.

But this blog is not about Insights-as-a-Service, it's about a topic that I’ve covered with so many CXOs from Facility Management companies across India, UAE and Australia i.e. "Digital Transformation".

As i reflect back on all the conversations I’ve had in the last 1 year, it does stand out that while most people know the end objective but do not know the way to get started and the expected time to get to the objective.

If we put 10 CXOs in one room, ask them what would be 3 most pressing points they would like Digital Transformation to enable for their Facility Management company or teams, following would most likely be the responses.:-

  • Productivity Improvement, Cost Reduction
  • Better Customer Experience
  • New Revenue/Business Opportunities

To be fair, anyone who does not get that right (not essentially in the same order) is certainly having a completely different view of the markets.

Now, if we ask all of them on how they expect the transformation to start or to look like? That is where things start to blur. All stakeholders within the sector and even within one company have different understanding of what should be done and how it should start?

It further gets chaotic as we start to understand the "Jobs to be done" for the middle management and the O&M teams who sort of are the flag bearers for maintaining the facilities, running them in manner that's most efficient (in all aspects).

This brings up an important question, is there any one way to enable Digital Transformation? The right way?

Perhaps not, it has to be your way (reflects your organisations reality that takes into account the investments, resources that are available) and also a reflection of where you would want to be in reference to the market direction.

Few things never go out of trends and fashion.

  • Fundamentals, let's always stick to them (Start small, learn, be relevant and then scale)
  • Disconnect from market sentiments cannot be a long term success formula.
  • Copy paste approach simply won't work.

Without doubt there are some companies that are ahead in the race now, they are ahead because they have given themselves more time to experiment, fail (at times) and hence succeed. Longer one waits to start in a perfect manner, the more expensive and riskier the change is going to be.

Your thoughts?

Best Regards,