Talk of technology integration in health care tends to skew toward managing patient records and care integration, but facility professionals, including those in engineering, environmental services and supply chain, are making great use of technology integration as well.

The Internet of Things (IoT) enabled NYU Langone Medical Center to develop a system that helped it to reduce patient transport time by 40 percent. Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center uses an automated process that triggers an alert to environmental services staff that a room is ready to be cleaned after the patient’s bracelet is removed and thrown away.

According to a new study commissioned by Schneider Electric, facility managers across several building environments, including health care and data centers, are increasingly adapting their building maintenance strategies in response to the IoT. Sixty percent of professionals predicted that IoT would impact their building and maintenance policies within the next year, and 65 percent of respondents are planning to increase investment in building capital expenses in 2016, including advanced building technologies that manage and glean insights from new data sets.

While respondents indicated that IoT is taking hold within their business, challenges exist to taking full advantage of building data. Seventy percent of facility managers report that their building management staff is very or extremely skilled in data analysis, but only 27 percent utilize data-driven analytics solutions related to building management, according to the study. Key barriers to uptake include the level of investment required (39 percent reported this as a top concern) and the lack of internal resources available to interpret data into actionable results (31 percent reported this as a top concern).

Another factor impacting the shift toward new building technologies is that only 26 percent of facility managers feel that available building information is totally adequate for facility maintenance planning. A majority of respondents cited room for improvement in this area, and only 15 percent reported that they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools to proactively assess and target equipment maintenance.

“The explosive growth of data, information and devices in today’s enterprises is dramatically impacting expectations of buildings and our relationships with them. Facility professionals need to be able to better visualize what’s happening across their footprint and make educated decisions to correct and improve conditions,” says Brett Wheless, director of field services, Schneider Electric. “More than half of facility managers are still largely reactive when it comes to maintaining building systems, which can have major impacts on occupant comfort and can decrease the life of the building. We are now seeing a change in attitude among facility professionals that is driving them to think differently about the way they collect and assimilate building data — it’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry.”

Read the full study for more insights on how facility managers use the IoT in their operations.