Every once in a while one of the trade magazines, IFMA, BOMA or one of the other organizations will produce a list of emerging FM trends. Usually these are over the horizon looks at issues most of us have not yet begun to pay much attention to. Some of those “emerging” trends mature to become important elements of our profession. Here are three that I think have made that transition.
The line between FM and IT continues to blur. I do not know of an FM shop that isn’t working hard to integrate with IT on the applications side (CMMS, BMS, Workflow, CAFM, etc.), but now more and more are integrating organizationally as well. Citicorp and HP are two that come immediately to mind where cross-pollinization of IT/FM management teams is being used to increase the speed and reach of integration.
Increased interest in Security is here to stay. As one sign of this, biometrics, long a part of work performed by and for the government, is now moving down to lower tiers. Major corporations and outsource providers are installing many more biometric access control systems, and use is projected to increase dramatically. Additionally, exercise scenarios have now begun to trickle down to operational planning at the local level and among larger enterprises that are attentive to their risk profile.
Investment in intelligent building systems continues to rise. Energy demand, prices, and geopolitical uncertainty will remain high for the foreseeable future, placing a premium on smart consumption. Also contributing to this trend is the increasing emphasis on green building as more mainline companies take a proactive stance, helping to increase environmental leverage.
As FM’s we are dealing with all of these issues. Each affects the what, where, when, and how of the things we do in support of our businesses. We need to speak languages we haven’t spoken before, compete for jobs we haven’t competed for before, and be leaders of change in our work, physical, and cultural environments. If you haven’t already, get your game on!