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Your Tools For a Digital Building Transformation:

To effectively evolve facility management, three critical foundations must be addressed: People, Technology, and Assets/Equipment.

David Sciarrino

What Will Take Us From Reactive to Proactive?

“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”

Warren G. Bennis, 1925

This humorous perspective shows just how far we still have to go before we reach the digital buildings of the future.

To effectively evolve facility management, three critical foundations must be addressed: People, Technology, and Assets/Equipment.

Current State of Building Management:

Currently the prevailing approach to building management is reactive. We must wait for something to break before fixing it, leading to increased downtime and inefficiencies. Manual checks and deferred maintenance contribute to this reactive state. Furthermore, the shortage of skilled labor and abundance of alarms are leaving operating staff over-worked and more willing to cut corners. They simply don’t have time to learn new systems or add more tasks. Data stored in scattered Excel files creates additional hurdles for effective decision-making, increasing the likelihood that quick decisions will be made without factual support.

None of these practices is sustainable in the modern technological world.

Ideal State:

To transition from reactive to proactive mode, a digital transformation of building operations is imperative. Technology cannot be an after-thought. It must be woven into the processes and culture of the company. The desired state means maintenance is performed according to data analysis of assets before they break, allowing prediction and mitigation of downtime. A digital archive of data would enable quicker decisions rooted in fact. Most importantly digitizing maintenance processes would relieve the workload of our skilled labor, freeing these individuals up for more important or long-term tasks.

We need our systems, procedures, company culture, assets, and people to undergo a digital transformation.

Digital Building Transformation:

Surprisingly technology plays a very minor part in digital transformation.
Most of the transformation takes place in the people and the processes. Only the last step is to implement technology.

  • Digital Planning and Strategy: Develop a comprehensive plan outlining the integration of digital technologies into building operations. This includes defining goals, identifying key technologies, and establishing a roadmap for implementation.
  • Revamping the Operating Model: Restructure the existing operating model to accommodate digital transformation. This involves redefining roles, responsibilities, and workflows to align with the new technological landscape.
  • Changing the Culture: Foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and adaptability. Encourage employees to embrace digital tools and methodologies, promoting a proactive mindset over a reactive one. I spoke about one culture changed needed in this article: How to break the Cycle: Reactive Maintenance vs Proactive Maintenance –
  • Adopting Technology and Tools: Implement cutting-edge technologies and tools that facilitate data-driven decision-making, predictive maintenance, and seamless interoperability between systems.


By focusing on digital planning, revamping the operating model, and changing the organizational culture, then adopting advanced technologies, building operations can evolve into a proactive and efficient ecosystem. Embracing this transformation is not just a choice; it is a necessity for staying ahead in the dynamic landscape of building management.