Data Management

A Smart Building, Smart Equipment and IoT perspective from J2 Innovations

2021: A Smart Building, Smart Equipment and IoT perspective from J2 Innovations


Remote work and management

people are becoming familiar with working remotely and managers are
realising that they need, or might want, to expand remote working to
more people within their organisation. To keep up with the needs of
occupants, building operators need the capability to manage buildings
remotely at a macro level and through applications at a micro or
personal level. This is true for large buildings but applicable to
smaller buildings and portfolios. With technology like J2’s new FIN
microBMS enabling plug ‘n’ play solutions for the small to mid-sized
buildings market, it is becoming easier for multi-site organisations to
efficiently manage buildings remotely.

COVID crisis is accelerating building portfolio operators’ realisation
that they need to be able to remotely manage their buildings more
effectively, so the need for easier and more secure connectivity
technologies will increase. The climate crisis is accelerating the
transition to greener technologies, both in terms of renewable energy
generation and a focus on reducing the carbon emissions from existing
buildings by optimising the way they are controlled. In many buildings,
the need to increase air change rates to reduce the risk of COVID
transmission, has temporarily been prioritised over energy efficiency.
But once the immediate crisis has passed, the HVAC industry will deepen
its commitment to developing more advanced ways of maintaining good
indoor air quality, while simultaneously minimising energy use. Air
ionisation and mechanical heat recovery solutions are therefore likely
to grow in popularity.” says Chris Irwin, VP of Sales EMEA, J2

An interesting aspect of working
more remotely can be seen in the prefabricated buildings market.
Because modular or prefab construction is more efficient and cost
effective than building on-site, building off-site and delivering
completed pieces of a building has become a growing trend in the
construction industry. J2 Innovations is already seeing this trend
extending to include controls, with more pre-installation during the
off-site construction phase.

Flexible spaces

owners, particularly those operating in retail, will need to make their
buildings more flexible and adaptable – victory and profits will go to
the nimble. Despite the growing demand for on-line shopping, bricks and
mortar spaces are still needed to service market needs that cannot be
met on-line: cafs; gyms; hairdressers; entertainment and cultural
venues; click and collect places, where customers can find services to
rewrap returns, postal or delivery counters, instant clothing
alterations, etc. These market demands cannot be delivered to your door
and need safe and smart spaces. As retailers and hospitality companies
adapt to these changes and consider omni-channel experiences, building
owners need to rethink their offering. In-person shopping isn’t dead,
it’s just different.

“I expect an increase in
demand for warehouses as many businesses will move from
brick-and-mortar stores to the Internet where much of it will remain”
says Michal Lom, Sales Manager Northern & CEE. “There is likely to
be a shift from open plan to fewer offices with a higher quality of
indoor environment as one of the lasting effects of coronavirus. This
will result in the re-modelling of the interior and the overall upgrade
of technology in the building”. There will be an increase in localized,
shared workspaces as many people will work in home office mode, but not
everyone has the conditions for it at home. Also, people are sociable
creatures and need contact with others, which shared offices can offer

Digital Processes

it can be and hasn’t already been transformed, 2021 will see ever more
processes becoming digital: IoT, blockchain, big data, cloud computing,
artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are the future. We
must consider what this means for our own businesses and how quickly we
can adapt, adopt, and apply to keep ahead of the market and the
competition. For building operations, space must adapt and so must the
services a building provides for comfort, safety, health, and security.
Automation play an increasingly important role; bringing in machine
learning, data management and analytics, cloud, and edge computing, IoT
and, probably we will find applications for blockchain and AI too.

believe we will continue to see a concerted and continued push to
integrate and leverage the vast amounts of valuable data derived from
Operational Technologies (OT) (i.e. manufacturing floor, building
systems) into the Information Technology (IT) side of the enterprise.
Most mature IT infrastructures already possess and maintain existing
computing resources (servers, storage, networking, security) either
deployed on premise or in the cloud. This infrastructure supports
traditional mission critical IT enterprise applications. Use of
existing IT infrastructure assets and the associated enterprise
applications layer (e.g. SAP ERP, IBM Maximo for asset management,
analytics platforms) enables OT data to be more seamlessly consumed,
resulting in streamlined business processes, reduced cost, increased
productivity and optimization of existing and future enterprise
assets.” – Steve Glymph, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, J2

Investment in Interoperability

of Engineering, Hisham Ennarah sees a greater focus on solving
interoperability issues between devices and protocols. This issue has,
for many years now, been of growing significance for the industry, but
in 2021 big investments and more progress can be expected to solve it.
“There are a bunch of initiatives to resolve the inter-connectivity
problems we have in the building automation industry. I see investment
from multiple organizations in this area of inter-connectivity between
different protocols and frameworks. A good example of that is The Web
of Things (WoT), an exciting initiative which is an open source
standard being pioneered by Siemens.” Ennarah explains

will have changed for good is the better understanding of the benefits
of digitalisation across society and industries; including on-line
payment, on-line work, on-line services; a lot of things can be handled
remotely, and much more efficient way at lower cost. Many digital
solutions already provide massive benefits without significant up-front
cost – the COVID crisis dramatically increased the awareness for those
solutions.” concludes Alex Rohweder, COO, J2 Innovations

Smart Building, Equipment and IoT Trends for 2021

Covid-19’s impact is difficult to ignore looking forward; it is set to
cast a long shadow, bridging from 2020 into 2021 and beyond. Industries
across the board have been affected, and have had to make some changes
to how they operate. In building controls, the trend is towards remote
work and management, digital processes, and information technology.
Here predictions from some of our team members at J2 Innovations for
smart buildings, smart equipment, and IoT.


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