To a certain degree, Commercial Real Estate (CRE) and facilities management organizations have always collected and used data to make decisions. However, with the sheer amount of data that are being accumulated today — coupled with the advancements in modern analytics tools — the challenge for leaders now is to make the most out of the big data to make informed business decisions and thus stay ahead of the competition. The COVID-19 has heightened the need to make quick decisions, which means being able to collect real-time data and make quick decisions based on those data.
In our last blog, we discussed how outdated and legacy systems can limit you from using modern technologies and methods like datamining, machine learning, AI and Big Data to generate analytics and insights for your business. In terms of data analytics and insights, your business may have many conflicting or redundant systems that are not integrated with each other and which contribute to inefficiencies, delay in decision making and lost opportunities. Even if there is some data, the data generated from legacy systems have limited analytics capabilities and are generally incapable of generating predictive analytics nor support automation.
Is it necessary to replace or modernize legacy systems?
Legacy systems will not help any forward-thinking organizations in their way to digital transformation. Such systems are not just outdated in architecture but also expensive to maintain, and difficult to integrate with the new digital environment. Sometimes, it may not be possible to completely replace a legacy system due to many reasons such as level of integrations, cost and ROI, etc., and in such a scenario, you can at least modernize before you lose more ground in the competitive market.
To do so, you need to have a long-term digital transformation strategy which should include your organization’s goals, technologies suitable to modernize your business, and the timeline to achieve it. It is important to have a strategy based on long term business objectives rather than a reaction to current market trends or how your competitors are doing.
How to modernize legacy systems?
There is no hard and fast rule for modernizing your legacy system. Your legacy system modernization should go hand to hand with your digital transformation strategy with long, medium, and short term plans. However, there are some ways to modernize which will not only help you in generating advanced analytics and insights, but also increase the efficiency of your organization’s operations and processes. Some of these approaches have been highlighted below.
Migration to Cloud
Cloud is a very essential technology for a successful digital transformation of the legacy system. Migrating to the cloud will revolutionize your organization’s way of storing and accessing data and provide a significant degree of mobility. Cloud technology enables organizations to upload data to a virtual central server allowing your employees to access, share, and use the digital assets in real-time from anywhere and anytime. As such, you don’t have to be in the office to lookup details regarding a facility or an asset.
Automate manual tasks
There are many manual tasks in real estate and facilities management organizations that are painstaking and time-consuming. Automation is a way of reducing manual work and letting the system do the work for you. Automation can be done through workflows, email workflows, automated notifications and tasks for your employees, and integrations between your different applications and systems. Automation reduces your workload but more importantly, it reduces human error giving you more accurate data.
Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and solutions
IoT is probably the most influential digital transformation technology shaping the real estate and facility management sector. The whole smart building and smart city concept is built on IoT technology. IoT along with wireless connectivity and sensors can automate various building operations like lighting, ventilation, heating, parking area, and so on. Through embedded IoT analytics, you can get all the necessary data on the state, condition, health and quality of building equipment in real-time.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled analytics
AI seemed like a futuristic technology in the last decade, but its impact has touched each and every industry across the globe today. Meanwhile, the CRE and facilities management industry has also started modernizing its system with AI-driven solutions. Whether it’s lead generation, property analysis, property market value prediction, or recommendation based on customer preference, AI has changed how the work is done. AI analytics can process a large amount of data and help organizations with valuable insight into their business and allow them to make more informative and effective decisions.
Modernization of data
Many legacy systems still depend on flat files and hierarchical databases which are a stumbling roadblock in modernizing IT systems. The outdated database system doesn’t allow data mining which is crucial for implementing technologies like cloud, AI, and IoT. So organizations must replace their legacy mainframe databases with modern databases. This will allow your organization to have a centralized view of all the data without any duplication and can help you in managing and understanding your data better.
The business world is transforming itself with emerging digital technologies to stay competitive and stay ahead of the game. CRE and facility management organizations still using legacy systems must also keep up with the technological advances and embrace the opportunities the modern technologies offer. As data is the new fuel in today’s world, modernizing the legacy system gives new dimensions for organizations and improves their efficiency, and enhances the way they work.
We provide digital transformation consulting services to the CRE and Facility Management organizations. Our team can help your organization with assessing your requirements and creating a meaningful roadmap to evolve your business through digital transformation. Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION and to learn more on how we can help.