IoT platforms target proprietary smart building systems

September 15, 2016 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Even though the smart buildings market still suffers from a fragmented ecosystem as proprietary building automation systems continue dominate, ABI Research expects that smart buildings global facility services revenue will grow from $625 million in 2015 to more than $8 billion in 2021.

The bulk of the revenue will stem from North America and Western Europe, as large buildings in these regions implement cloud-based smart building platforms or integrate existing building management systems to smart building platforms.

According to a report from ABI Research, the lack of initiative from incumbent service providers opens opportunity for device OEMs, system integrators, security companies, telcos, and platform vendors to offer managed building services. Two main services will be smart lighting and more intuitive HVAC control systems, which according to the report is estimated to respectively account for 32% and 49% of revenue from smart buildings by 2021.

"IoT platforms, such as GE's Predix, IBM's Watson, and SAP's HANA, in collaboration with facility service providers, like CBRE, ISS World, and ENGIE, are gradually creating inroads by integrating multiple building automation systems to deliver a unified facilities management solution," says Adarsh Krishnan, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. "But most facility service providers are still in the early stages of evaluating smart building solutions and face the 'make or buy' dilemma of whether to develop the solution in-house or collaborate with a third-party technology vendor."

While North America and Western Europe will pioneer this movement toward smart building automation systems in the IoT, the Asia-Pacific region will grow quickly and account for one quarter of global facility service revenue, or $2 billion, in 2021. Smart city projects in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India and China drive the adoption of smart buildings as a critical component of sustainable urban development. Its impact will be further augmented through its integration to other smart city applications like smart parking, public transportation, smart metering, security and waste disposal systems.

"Smart building platforms are seen as a valuable tool to address growing sustainability challenges and customer demands for personalized services, reduce costs, and increase workspace flexibility," says Krishnan. "Facility managers are exploring opportunities beyond enhancing building energy efficiencies and aim to improve the overall