Technology is now the underpinning of every part of the CRE business. Though it may be happening at a slower rate compared with some other industries, companies are adopting a variety of advanced technologies. Investors have certain expectations about technology usage: In a recent study done by professional services giant Deloitte, nearly two-fifths of investors plan to increase the use of predictive analytics and business intelligence to make their investment decisions. Ross Litkenhous, Global Head of Business Development at Altus Group, told Propmodo, “The last few years have ushered in the single largest evolution in commercial real estate technological advancement since the introduction of the Excel spreadsheet.”
It’s time to upgrade digital strategy and infrastructure. What should you make sure you’re doing? Currently, most companies are tactically focusing on individual technologies relevant for a specific business area and not looking at an enterprise-wide picture. As a result, CRE technology leadership tends to spend significant time and resources in managing both modern and legacy infrastructure while not yet reimagining the power of fully utilizing data. Perhaps one of the challenges facing CRE companies is the ability to prioritize investments between different technologies and needs.
Develop an enterprise-wide strategy and a strong, agile digital core as part of your company’s central strategy, which can be bolstered by implementing data gathering and analytical technologies. An enterprise-wide technology strategy is often a first step toward effective technology deployment and integration. It also leads to more efficient management of IT budgets and resources. A strategy could include, for example, an enterprise-wide evaluation of data capture, the use of predictive analytics, and enhanced internal reporting with business intelligence software. To this end, a planned and phased deployment of technology is a better strategy than ad hoc adoption.
CRE companies should invest in modern, more dynamic core technology systems that are automated and easy to integrate with new solutions that emerge. Example: Include smart building management systems that will be able to carry out automated procedures and track building operations.
Enhance data-gathering and analytics capabilities. CRE companies should consider different approaches to gather, store, and analyze large sets of internal and external data. Many companies today are overwhelmed by the huge variety in types of data, but also by the sources. Some of the external and alternative data sources include news feeds, satellite imagery, geospatial information, and crowdsourcing. Internally, advanced technologies such as IoT, blockchain, and robotic process automation (RPA) can yield new data sets. In a recent study done by professional services giant Deloitte, more than three-fifths (62%) of the surveyed investors prefer having access to IoT data for their CRE investment decisions.
CRE companies can achieve sophisticated practical insights for different strategic and tactical actions by using alternative data sources and advanced technologies. For example, companies can create what-if scenarios while managing tenant experience. Some of these could include analyzing tenant benefits due to flexible leases or tenant convenience through better designed spaces. Companies can also collaborate with tenants and drive value by leveraging the insights, whether customer and traffic information for a retail center or employee usage information for an office property.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Start operationalizing your digital strategy across your entire business–from the ground up.
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