Two powerful forces continue to affect the commercial real estate industry: the steadily strengthening winds of technological change, driven by a customer base that is increasingly accustomed to instant digital experiences at their fingertips; and the sudden storm of COVID-19, which catalysed flexible work arrangements as the new workplace norm.
With a shift towards a digital-first workplace, commercial landlords are seeking digital solutions to provide seamless occupier experiences that meet the new and changing needs of customers. The enablement of such digital experiences is inevitably accompanied by new levels of network complexity that reach across buildings and commercial portfolios. Here are the top three trends driving a connected experience in real estate.
1. Employees and occupiers expect a digital-first experience at their workplaces
At work, employees similarly expect instantaneous plug-and-play connectivity, with easy digital access to multiple spaces in their office building, or across multiple buildings to enable flexibility of working in their location of choice. In addition, technical advancements and expanded applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) have raised occupier expectations surrounding multiple connected systems, devices and sensors in an integrated digital-first smart building.
To cater to this truly hybrid workforce and demands on the network, landlords are grappling
with finding the right technology that enables digital experiences through a robust and secure network.
2. User behaviour data drives actionable insights to future-proof buildings
With hybrid work on the rise and users choosing to work wherever they want, understanding customer behaviour is increasingly critical to a building’s operational efficiency. Buildings today run disparate systems and digital services that are powered by multiple networks, each managed separately. This makes it a challenge to capture and analyse holistically where and how users are interacting with the network and various digital services within a building.
Landlords are increasingly looking to simplify network management and to achieve a consolidated data view over their network activity. This can then translate into actionable insights on how to optimise services and space design to enhance and future-proof their buildings.
3. Cybersecurity poses a growing risk
The proliferation and widespread deployment of network technology has led to increased security risks for every building owner, as multiple disjointed networks present a greater attack surface. This leaves the networks and essential systems of a building vulnerable to malicious attacks and security threats.
Should the network be hacked, this can result in heavy reputational impact, as well as costly remediation efforts both in time and finance to recover from damages. According to IBM, the global average cost of a data breach in 2021 could be as high as $4.2 million.
For landlords, a security breach has a compounding effect as it does not just impact their own security systems, but their tenants’ as well. It is no surprise that building owners and operators have embarked on a journey to streamline their networks into one converged easy-to-manage environment, which increases the security posture of their core building network.
The right technology foundation
Even with the practice of converging the physical network becoming more common, there is still a gap today that prevents true on-demand digital enablement of buildings and spaces. This gap lies in the lack of network automation powered by software to manage and monitor secured networks at scale, giving building owners and operators true peace of mind.
As the intelligent digital backbone for commercial real estate, essensys enables landlords and flex operators to reduce the complexity of managing networks — whether in a single location or portfolio-wide — by connecting to our secure global private network. We can deliver on-demand digital services in real time with intelligent network automation, allowing our customers to create seamless in-building and cross-portfolio experiences for their end users.
This article was first published in Mingtiandi