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Thursday, June 11, 2015

How IoT Transforms Commercial Building Management

The commercial building management systems (BMS) market has been the epitome of a steady market for several years. However, growing BMS connectivity and rising energy prices now mean that this is a market that is closely mirroring developments within other technology driven markets.

The growing integrated building management systems market is now estimated to be worth $34 billion, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

More than eight million building management systems will be integrated with some form of Internet of Things (IoT) platform, software application or service offering by 2020.

However, like many suppliers in established markets today, commercial building management system vendors face both opportunities and threats when navigating the emerging IoT ecosystem.

The opportunity is IoT integration transforms the traditional BMS from an unconnected monolithic system to part of a wider and integrated sensing and control network.

Support for open BMS connectivity to third-party applications means BMS operation can be informed by a range of external events such as changing weather conditions or variable energy pricing.

At the same time, new sensors and actuators within the building environment can control the BMS according to space allocation, building occupancy and other dynamic factors.

"But the increased flexibility and functionality for BMSs offered by IoT technologies and services is also creating a more complex competitive environment," said Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.

In fact, ABI believes that new BMS competitors such as SaaS energy management platforms, M2M AEP platforms, and even PC energy management players are now also potential new partners in this evolving marketplace.

While BMS players understand they cannot deliver a full range of services on their own they are also wary of losing control over BMS implementations and missing out on new IoT-enabled revenue opportunities.

Apart from the hardware sales -- such as sensors and wireless networking devices -- open source software applications and professional services that will likely drive much of the incremental value from the Internet of Things integrated BMS solutions in the future.