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5 Factors Driving the Digital Building Transformation

by Kevin Gillingham | Feb 21, 2019

The digital building has become a widely talked about phenomenon, and today’s technological advances are rapidly turning ideas and concepts about it into realities. But behind the hype and excitement, what’s really motivating this evolution?

In a whitepaper highlighting its digital building solutions, Cisco identified five influences that are moving organizations towards digital buildings. We’ve summarized them here for you, so keep reading to find out what they are.

Red Circle with Lock in the Middle1.      Security

There will be more than 26 billion IoT-connected devices globally by the end of 2019. By 2020 the tally is expected to exceed 30 billion, and by 2025 we will be well beyond the 70 billion mark.

One factor driving this rapid growth in the digital building space is the shift from vertically structured building management systems (BMSs) towards horizontal ones.

Traditional buildings (and building management systems) are composed of a series of vertical and discrete silos—lighting, HVAC, and security—that all operate independently. With digital buildings and horizontal BMSs, each of these components will become devices that are all nested under a common API and powered by a single network.

The proliferation of devices and expansion of networks can present complications, but remember, where there is challenge there is also opportunity. Future-ready networks provide a host of solutions including granular controls, identity-based segmentation and device management, built-in visibility, and the dynamic management of endpoints that enable organizations to mitigate both physical and network security threats at all levels.

Red Circle with i in the Middle2.      Customization

With the advent of technologies like intelligent lighting and smart thermostats, consumers are getting used to altering the environments around them to suit their preferences.

The digital building has the potential to take this trend to the next level:

  • Dynamically adjust lighting according to the levels of ambient light outside or personal preferences.
  • Adapt inside temperatures depending factors like the number of people in a given space.
  • Intelligently allocate shared meeting and common spaces.
  • Automate doors and elevators to simplify access for tenants.

Deloitte University Press created an interactive graphic exploring how the IoT will affect office, retail, industrial, and multi-family buildings. Click here to learn more and see the tool in action!

Red Circle with Lightning Bolt in the Middle3.      Energy Use

As more people live and work more densely in urban spaces, businesses and real estate developers are always looking for ways to streamline resource consumption. Fortunately, little changes have the potential to make big impacts. Using sensors to turn lights on and off and modify room temperatures, for example, can reduce energy use by over 25%.

Red Circle with Dollar Sign in the Middle4.      Cost

Converging disparate systems as part of one holistic network can bring a variety of cost benefits for organizations of any size through the consolidation of materials, streamlining of day-to-day management processes, and more.

Red Circle with Lightbulb in the Middle5.      Future-Ready Adaptations

In many jurisdictions around the world, building codes themselves are becoming stricter and compelling building managers to find better, more efficient pathways—exactly what PoE-enabled solutions are engineered to deliver.

Laying the Groundwork for Next-Generation Digital Buildings

The success of the digital building depends on its systems performing well independently and together. You need an infrastructure in place that enables this interconnectedness.

To make your journey a triumph, you need to choose the right partner. Look for someone who has a wealth of experience in planning, integrating, installing, and supporting each component of your organization’s infrastructure—ensuring you get a future-ready system that empowers you to make the most of the changes digital buildings will bring.


Are you ready to take the plunge? Contact us today to learn how Activo can help you maximize your success in the IoT!

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About Kevin Gillingham

Kevin Gillingham is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Activo. Through his expertise in technology, cabling, and communication solutions, he provides leadership and guidance to Activo’s team across Canada.