The Marriage of IoT Platforms and Technologies of Synergistic Commercial Building Portfolios

The convergence of diverse building technologies not only fuels automation but also introduces unparalleled real-time insights

Michael Skurla, Chief product officer at Radix IoT

November 20, 2023

3 Min Read
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In the rapidly evolving modern commercial facilities landscape, the fusion of hardware and interconnected systems has emerged as the cornerstone of global operational efficiency. The convergence of diverse building technologies not only fuels automation but also introduces unparalleled real-time insights through the lens of building analytics – all now being empowered by AI. 

Amid this transformation IoT platforms have proven themselves as the pivotal translators of raw data from often numerous smart buildings technology, allowing true useful outcomes for businesses to drive value, including OPEX savings, CAPEX mitigation and ESG goal enablement.  They have become the bedrock of truth in what was a very complex mix of data in the past. 

'IoT Platform' vs. 'Systems' 

IoT platforms are additive in nature and do not strive to replace what already exists. Instead, they seamlessly connect everything a building, or portfolio of buildings, already uses. Additionally, they integrate third-party solutions into the mix allowing existing connected system solutions and third parties (other software such as work order management systems, and analytics tools) to collaborate on goals for a common good – eliminating silo’ing of data. 

What was stand-alone building systems can turn into smart, interconnected infrastructures, that are empowered by IoT, the cloud and legacy solutions working in harmony. This metamorphosis is not just theoretical but underscored by practical instances where IoT-enabled Synergistic Building Systems drive performance change today across many commercial sectors. 

It is now standard for a multitude of connected devices across a vast network of facilities to collect sizeable amounts of data. The problem is raw, isolated, siloed data is worthless unless aggregated and analyzed in real time and through historical operation context. IoT platforms solve this integration complexity allowing data to transform from everything into actionable analytics to drive the best business decisions – again all with what is already there. 

Some of the top cost-effective benefits of IoT platforms are optimized energy usage across various geographically spread facilities, improved customer/occupant comfort, meeting sustainability targets, allowing for pre-emptive equipment maintenance and avoiding operations disruptions. All of this while allowing for vendor-agnostic systems, eliminating vendor lock. While not a replacement for BMS or purpose-built solutions for individual trades, they synergistically consolidate facilities-wide systems, ushering in a new era of synergistic building philosophies across diverse portfolios.

IoT platforms’ unified I.T. approach provides geographically distributed critical asset infrastructure stakeholders full access to a holistic spectrum of building outcome analytics (beyond raw data streams). Consolidating critical data, via a single pane of glass as a centralized vantage point; eliminating information silos and fostering a cohesive understanding that fuels operational enhancements which include things as simple as Alert Notifications of impending risks but can also be as complex as distribution to external supply chain factors in energy. The options are fairly endless given the holistic access to the data on a global basis. Additionally, the solutions allow for remote management bolstered by real-time business intelligence, allowing triage from afar.

With almost as many connected IoT devices as people worldwide – more than 15 billion – IoT Platforms have become the central security backbone of the emerging IoT infrastructure while blending with existing building solutions in harmony. The resulting cost savings, improved efficiency and predictive maintenance strategies are no longer aspirational but rather the defining hallmarks of forward-thinking global enterprises.

IoT, regardless of how you define it, is based on data, and the acquisition and organization of the data to generate a common good through the synergy of systems. These systems can be one location or hundreds of thousands of locations. But make no mistake, IoT platforms are the key to acquiring and using all this data for a unified end goal.

About the Author(s)

Michael Skurla

Chief product officer at Radix IoT

As chief product officer of Radix IoT, Michael Skurla (LEED AP O+M & BD+C, MIES, ASHRAE) has more than 25 years of experience in control automation and building technology product design with Fortune 500 companies. He is a contributing member of CABA, ASHRAE, IES Education, and USGBC and a frequent lecturer on the developing use of analytics and emerging IT technologies to foster efficiency within commercial facility design focusing on the intersection of software and hardware that emphasizes data aggregation and analytics for mission-critical industries. A well-recognized thought leader, Skurla’s contributed articles and interviews have appeared in such top industry publications as Smart Buildings Magazine, Energies Magazine, IoT Evolution, Network World, RTInsights, RFID Journal, LEDs Magazine, Critical Facilities, Oilman Magazine, IoT Playbook, IoT News, Digitalisation World (UK) and LD+A, among others.

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