Friday, 4 January 2013

Spending on smart building managed services is set to grow by 18% a year through to 2020 – Pike

Pike ResearchWorldwide spending on Smart Building Managed Services (SMBS), which include data acquisition and analytics, as well as building maintenance contracts, will grow from $291m in 2012 to $1.1bn by 2020, according to a report from Pike Research. That equates to a compound annual growth rate of nearly 18% for these outsourced services.

The growth of building energy management systems (BEMS) as a whole has resulted in significant increases in the energy efficiency of buildings. But, the report says, realising the full potential of these systems requires skills that many building operations and maintenance staff lack. As a result, there has been a growing demand for SMBS solutions, which are essentially outsourced versions of BEMS. Consequently, the SBMS market will grow more rapidly over the remainder of the decade than the wider BEMS market, which will see a compound annual growth rate of 14%.

“Dwindling resources and diminishing skill levels have significantly impaired the effectiveness of efficiency initiatives in many commercial buildings,” says senior research analyst Eric Bloom. “Turning these initiatives over to experts who continuously monitor the facilities, searching for opportunities to reduce energy costs and improve operations, enables building owners to access the full capabilities of BEMS.”

According to Pike, the competitive landscape for smart building managed services is evolving at a fast pace driven by new technologies, big data, and a wide variety of service models. Large established market players and OEMs such as Johnson Controls, Siemens, and Schneider Electric have a strong foothold in managed services. More focused companies such as Ecova and Pacific Controls have leveraged their independence from the larger OEMs to build strong relationships with their clients, while large IT companies such as IBM and HP have become strong competitors as well.

But the SBMS vendors won’t have it all their own way. There is  significant competition, particularly from utility demand-side management (DSM) programmes. Looking for ways to engage with their customer bases and manage the increasing demand for electricity production, utilities have created offerings that provide many of the benefits of SBMS. Many building owners and operators now expect that many of the services SMBS vendors provide are already available from their local utilities.


Review:  Energy efficiency in buildings is one of those significant areas of Green ICT identified by the Smarter2020 report. Much of the requirement is around monitoring, managing and comparing energy use, as well as testing strategies and scenarios for building improvements. All that requires handling lots of data – the volumes can only grow in the future.

Pike makes an interesting point about the use of managed services. In many areas where ICT will help in energy efficiency the tools may be new to existing staff. Facilities managers, logistics fleet operators, etc. may have problems managing the increasing technology. As Pike suggests, it may well lead to more use of managed services as companies outsource the requirement to get the external skills.

On the other hand, service requirements will be pretty similar between companies, so I would have thought that online/cloud-based solutions that can be tailored to company requirements would be sufficient for many. Implementation and configuration may be an initial problem, but once web-based solutions are up and running they should be easy to use. Ultimately, that may be all the managed services become.

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