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Granlund’s market analysis: IoT is enabling a productivity leap in the real estate and construction sector

(22.11.2017)

IoT market analysis drawn up by experts from Granlund, Delft University of Technology and Aalto University looks into the state of IoT services in the real estate and construction sector in Finland. The prefix “smart” is used extensively in the consumer product market, but when will it conquer our traditionally slow-moving sector?

IoT market analysis was compiled by Tuuli Jylhä from Delft University of Technology, Susanna Sairanen from Granlund Consulting, Ken Dooley from Granlund and Heikki Ihasalo from Granlund and Aalto University. The 28-page analysis is a clear and compact information package for all those interested in IoT-related issues in the sector.

The analysis illustrates the development path of IoT market. In Finland, 90 per cent of current IoT providers are on the first step of the development process; that is, they primarily focus on optimising individual issues, not on process development as a whole or creating new customer value or business. User orientation has not made a breakthrough yet.

“Our sector develops slowly, not least for cost-related reasons. On the other hand, technology is developing at an extremely fast pace. I believe that the development cycle in our sector will speed up, too, but it will never be the same as in consumer electronics companies, for instance. However, I think that Finland is at the leading edge of IoT utilisation in the world. The countries to watch include at least the Nordic countries, the USA and the Netherlands”comments Heikki Ihasalo.

IoT as a key to easier everyday life

The report revealed that understanding the customers’ needs will play a key role in the future, too, and that technology should not be an end in itself. The focus should be on how users feel in the premises – in future, people need to be attracted to the office.

“Property users want to have an easier everyday life. At the workplace, they want to be able to concentrate on their work and ensure that their days run smoothly from the first cup of coffee in the morning to the moment when it’s time to go home. A property is smart only when it helps the employee to work smartly”, Susanna Sairanen summarises.

Towards a productivity leap by understanding the user

In general, the challenges related to IoT are considered to include the user interface question and the amount of data and related safety issues. There are as many opinions about user interfaces as there are experts. As for smartness, it is needed for identifying the most essential things in the increasing amount of data. Nevertheless, the analysis indicates that despite challenges, IoT plays a significant role in the productivity leap expected to take place in the sector and that digitalisation should be considered an opportunity.

“IoT is not only about technology and data. To eliminate this perception, we should think more about the purposes for which IoT is used: for creating the user experience, speeding up service or saving energy, for instance”, Tuuli Jylhä emphasises.

The market analysis presents several cases highlighting successful utilisation of IoT. For instance, in Disney’s amusement parks, a smart wristband makes the entertainment experience smooth and safe, and the ecosystem of the world’s smartest building, The Edge, serves users, maintenance and IT support alike. 

The authors of the market analysis anticipate five development directions in the real estate business of the future and challenge the reader to contemplate whether the real estate sector should move from the technology-oriented IoT towards an “Internet of Experience” model focused on customer value. 

Learn more about the development directions and read the entire analysis by clicking this link to download the report.