What can we expect from 2023 in the FM tech sector? Here’s our view of the challenges and opportunities ahead.

There’s no doubt about it. 2022 was a challenging year for businesses. And 2023 could well be tougher. 

Escalating fuel bills, labour shortages and supply chain problems made it harder to deliver quality services on time and on budget. Then there are the shifts in working practices that are making companies rethink what they want from their buildings - or even if they want them at all.

Cost saving, sustainability, data generation and agile business thinking are likely to dominate the facilities management agenda. But how are FM going to achieve those aims?

10 FM challenges and opportunities for 2023


1. Controlling energy use

In 2023 the expense of running inefficient buildings and equipment may become crippling for some companies. The CBI predict bills could increase by 151% for many. Reducing energy consumption and minimising carbon footprint to save money and the planet will need to become part of our organisational DNA. The ‘dark January pledge’, may be just one of a range of initiatives and strategies that FMs will be subscribing to in the year ahead to help educate their colleagues - and ‘turn those bloody lights off’.

2. Confronting labour shortages

Labour challenges will continue to affect efficiency. Cost and availability of qualified workers is becoming a critical factor in FM planning. Smart facilities managers need to find ways of managing suppliers more effectively if they’re going to get better results from fewer people. They’ll also need to automate and streamline FM to avoid burnout among in-house teams struggling to manage budgets and KPIs.

3. Facing down recession

A possible two year recession is predicted. Budgets are under scrutiny. Lack of visibility around facilities performance is putting pressure on teams to justify their spending and even their existence. Without FM data to show improvements and help optimise the way we work, businesses could be wasting money and opportunities to improve efficiency and customer experience.  

4. Change in facilities use

The last three years have bought about the biggest change in working practices since the advent of the PC. Now new research shows that workers around the world are coming into their offices on average only 1.4 a times a week, with two thirds of desks remaining unused at any given time. Many businesses are thinking about shedding or reorganising office space, figuring out how they can use their facilities to maximise profits and productivity. 

5. Supporting new ways of working

There’s no doubt buildings are being used differently and occupancy patterns are not the same as they were pre-Covid. And while Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and David Solomons of Goldman Sachs may be pushing for a ‘full on return to the office’ hybrid working looks like it’s here to stay. 

But that doesn’t mean the office is fading in significance. In fact, offices are being seen more as ‘destinations’; places where teams come specifically to commune and strategise, and where individuals come to debrief and organise. Managers need more agile facilities to support these changing uses.  Many companies are reconfiguring their spaces with open floor plans.  They’re buying meeting pods and booths, as well as modular and moveable furniture.  

But achieving this flexibility isn’t easy unless FM teams are there to make it happen on demand.  ‘Mobile first’ CAFM systems are needed to help small teams manage high-tech, complex, multi-site real estate more tightly.

6. Building the experiential economy

Following the Covid years, the ‘experience economy’ is becoming part of many brands’ strategies. Exciting, personalised brand experiences, where the metaverse meets the real-world are driving footfall and repeat custom in bricks and mortar.  

For example, our clients Red Engine are reinventing traditional pub games, bringing in cutting-edge technology to host extraordinary nights out. And the trend is global:

“Flight Club now has ten UK locations, three locations for its newest venture, Electric Shuffle, and venues in the US and Australia. In 2019 the company turned over £22m, and this year it expects to surpass £50 million, with new venues scheduled in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Sydney.” Source: The New Statesman 

Another client, TeamSport are bringing their Karting experiences to a new European audience delivering complex customer experiences safely and to budget with CAFM sofware. 

Managing such complex and tech-driven real estate requires a new level of control in digital Facilities Management. CAFM tech is helping drive real-time communication and capturing data to ensure efficiency and compliance.

You can read about our work with Red Engine and other hospitality brands here.

7. Supporting neurodiversity

2022 saw the publication of the new BSI guidelines for supporting neurodiversity in workplace design, signalling a new era of inclusivity.

These include recommendations to provide different kinds of spaces where workers are able to find more control over posture, light, noise and ventilation at individual work-stations.

Businesses need to access the best talent to compete in a global economy. Channeling the talents of high-performing individuals with diverse needs is critical.

Thinking about inclusivity and valuing diversity is going to become increasingly significant and it before long these requirements may even become enshrined in law.

Read more in our blog about neurodiversity and Facilities Management.

8. Maintenance 4.0 goes mainstream

In the face of squeezed budgets, labour shortage, energy price increases, and tightening compliance requriements - the search for more efficient and effective maintenance goes on. In 2023 the rise of Maintenance 4.0 and IoT is set to continue, as modeling concepts like ‘digital twinning’ is set to go mainstream.

As the range of data we can now stream from assets and smart buildings is increasing, FM software will need to become more flexible and creative in the way it integrates to:

  • Monitor building health
  • Track energy usage
  • Control carbon footprint
  • Support predictive and preventive maintenance
  • Predict asset lifecycles
  • Control maintenance spend
  • Manage capex expenditure

In 2023 we’ll see the ability of CAFM systems to ingest data and model asset behaviour continue to evolve, to help cut expensive reactive strategies and manage budgets more successfully.

9. AI promises a help desk revolution

In the last 6 months we’ve seen some staggering releases of AI technology, with new software able to interpret and respond to written requests intelligently in seconds.

We can be sure that with the entry of ChatGPT into the mix, very targeted applications for the FM sector will quickly follow.  If you haven’t tried it already check out the human-like conversational (and even analytical) abilities of the Chat GPT tech:

“The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests”

Whilst some have raised doubts about bias and mistakes in the machine learning process, it’s easy to see its long-term appeal.  Imagine how efficiently FM will be able to offer real-time support around the clock with AI-based chat solutions, freeing up more time for problem-solving using valuable human resources.

AI is set to improve prioritisation and triaging of FM work requests, replacing forms while still delivering structured data into our systems.  

10. More data for all!

The importance of data and business intelligence (BI) will continue to dominate FM thinking. As FM understaffing persists, and stretched teams look for ways to become more efficient and meet management expectations with less staff, gaps in data will become increasingly glaring. 

But data is the way teams can understand performance, as well as predicting and optimising future results and requirements.

And while IoT enabled assets are becoming more mainstream and affordable, CAFM suppliers are still working hard to ensure advanced analytics and predictive capabilities will become accessible to all.   Helping businesses lever the power of IoT and smart buildings.

For example, at Expansive FM we are focusing on improving contractor and engineer reporting capabilities on our mobile portal to ensure data is gathered in real-time frictionlessly. 

The combination of improved interfaces, data-gathering techniques, automation, analytics, and predictive modeling will be the key to democratising data’ in the FM space this year.  And we’ll be leading the charge in 2023.

How to choose a CAFM system

Josh Greibach

Written by Josh Greibach

Josh Greibach is the CEO & Co-Founder of Expansive Solutions. His passion is delivering value through data-driven strategies. With a proven track record in leading successful teams for both B2C and B2B, Josh now focuses on rocking the world of facilities management with his FM software. He's here to revolutionise the industry and help businesses thrive in our digital-driven world.

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