Expo 2020 propels need for data-driven operations - GulfToday

Expo 2020 propels need for data-driven operations


A panel discussion is in progress at the event in Dubai.


Few, if any, nations around the globe are embracing future-ready technology driven innovations with as much enthusiasm as the UAE. With the fast approaching Expo 2020 in Dubai as an appropriate backdrop, the country is in the midst of several pathbreaking initiatives, which will see it emerge as a world leader in the adoption of breakthroughs that reconcile next level user experiences, resource optimization and sustainability.

The dynamism and proactive zeal with which the UAE government has launched initiatives, policy changes and regulatory reforms in recent years, is virtually unparalleled. From a new visa regime that is far more inviting to global talent, to allowing 100% foreign ownership in selected sectors and promoting local innovation, to the deliberate acceleration of the adoption of future-tech, the UAE is vigorously implementing the themes of Expo 2020 – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – as well as its several sub-themes. Additionally, citizen happiness continues to feature as a top priority in the government agenda.

The commercial real estate industry in UAE, as if taking a leaf out of the governments economic playbook, is also showing compelling signs of a necessary transformation, with imperatives like tenant experience, energy management and data-led efficiencies emerging as top priorities.

Gulf Today spoke with Prabhu Ramachandran, founder and CEO of Facilio Inc., about how technology, and specifically data-driven decision-making, is poised to transform commercial real estate, and how this global evolution will help UAE’s commercial real estate sector align with the larger economic goals.

Data is the new asset class for commercial real estate owners, and is the path to achieving efficiencies, customer happiness and  sustainability

 “Buildings are a powerhouse of data. While the automation driven upgrade of commercial real estate assets of a few decades ago was focused on embedding buildings with hardware that delivered improved services and enhanced performance or CaFM and other individual software tools for property management maintenance, energy management, occupant applications, the dynamics are now changing fast”, says Prabhu. “This new decade will see the rise in adoption of an innovative data-driven model of commercial real estate operations, that is making it possible to achieve centralized and real-time management of your real estate portfolios, at an enterprise scale. It can help optimize your asset performance, achieve better energy management & ROI, all while delivering a great tenant experience”, he adds.

Prabhu’s perspective is substantiated by Facilio’s insightful global report titled ‘2020 State of CRE Operations 3.0’ released recently. The top findings of the report are a great eye-opener about the state of commercial real estate operations and where the priorities and focus is shifting. Facilio’s global benchmarking study uncovers gaps & trends in CRE operations. Tenant experience, Energy management & Data-driven operations have emerged as top priorities for commercial real estate owners in 2020 , which Prabhu says is no surprise considering CX and sustainability have been dominating discussions for much of the past 5 years.

77% CRE owners cite tenant experience as a priority, allocate 39% operational spend for the same.

40% of tech investment being directed into DATA: centralization, IoT-driven predictive analytics  & portfolio-wide intelligence.

Report finds 60% of maintenance spend is on hard services, with at least 20% savings anticipated by combining predictive analysis with automated resolution.

 The report also broadly identifies the opportunities and challenges faced by commercial real estate owners, and how data-driven operations is being seen as the route to solve those challenges. “CRE owners have realized that there is a huge opportunity for technology to optimize operational spend & solve their critical challenges.

“The primary frustration faced by CRE’s today is rising maintenance cost, influenced by automation data silos and dealing with multiple tools, with multiple functions (maintenance management to asset performance to the tenant experience). And despite all of this, they have limited to no visibility into the performance of their building portfolios”, says Prabhu.

The ‘CRE 3.0’ report also reveals that Connected Building portfolios and a coherent end-to-end view of building performance is set to become the norm, and a key demand, in 2020, and onwards. Some factors for the evolution are a rise in the number of properties coming to market, the emergence of regulatory reforms, Smart City vision and discerning customers.

“Dubai’s Expo 2020 objectives and the 10x progressive vision of the leadership, are definitely accelerating the need for creating data-driven transformation of the commercial real estate sector. And this is what real estate owners themselves want to remain relevant and competitive. Our report is evidence of this growing need for leveraging technology to boost building performance and provide seamless tenant experience while remaining sustainable”, Prabhu reiterates.

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