What is facilities management?

Facilities management encompasses a range of disciplines and services to ensure the functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of a built environment — buildings and grounds, infrastructure and real estate.1

It includes:

  • Operations and maintenance
  • Communications management
  • Emergency management and business continuity
  • Environmental stewardship and sustainability
  • Hospitality
  • Human factors and ergonomics
  • Project management
  • Real estate and property management2

Facilities management is divided into two basic areas: Hard Facility Management (Hard FM) and Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM). Hard FM deals with physical assets such as plumbing, heating and cooling, elevators. Soft FM focuses on tasks performed by people such as custodial services, lease accounting, catering, security, grounds keeping.3

Facility management also refers to facilities management systems and software. Vast amounts of data — often called Internet of Things (IoT) data — are generated by built environments through sensors, meters, gauges and smart devices. IBM is enabling facility management departments to take advantage of this data by infusing analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) into its Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS). These technologies deliver cognitive capabilities that analyze and learn from data, enabling  to achieve real-time visibility, perform predictive maintenance and create more productive, cost-efficient environments.

A series of articles from WIRED Brand Lab demonstrates how data and cognitive are reshaping how buildings are built, managed and experienced.

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