Home » Study claims low uptake of digital-led building maintenance

Study claims low uptake of digital-led building maintenance

by Mark Cantrell
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A recent poll by SFG20 claims only 20% of UK businesses are “wholeheartedly” embracing digital-led building maintenance systems.

Furthermore, it found that almost half of businesses (40%) are only in the early stages of adopting digital-forward technologies in their building maintenance strategies, while the remaining 40% are ‘moderately’ embracing the changes.

Paul Bullard, product director at SFG20, said: “The reluctance to adopt digital-led maintenance was initially fuelled by the perceived effort and high costs of hardware and software. However, the landscape is changing with more affordable options now available.

“Yet challenges remain, as businesses work to develop the necessary skills to deploy sensors, monitors, and interpret the generated data effectively. Overcoming these hurdles is essential to unlocking the full potential of digital maintenance.”

Using data taken from the October 2023 Office for National Statistics (ONS) report, Business Insights & Impact on the UK Economy, SFG20 further analysed the UK’s awareness of artificial intelligence (AI).

It found that over four-fifths (84%) of UK businesses are currently not adopting AI technologies.

Over three-quarters (77%) of those not using artificial intelligence have stated a lack of internal expertise on the technology as the main reason for this delay. Struggles to identify a business use (61%), and the cost implications of new technologies (53%) were also reported primary concerns.

The construction industry is reported to have the lowest adoption of AI technologies, with only 8% of businesses currently using some form of artificial intelligence. This figure is only set to increase to 10% at the start of 2024.

Bullard added: “AI in the [facilities management] industry offers the potential to enhance rather than replace human roles, unlocking opportunities and insights. While historical reporting has been the norm, AI empowers us to leverage vast datasets for predictive maintenance, enabling timely interventions and a proactive approach to facility management.”

SFG20 is an industry standard for building maintenance specification, launched in 1990 by the Building Engineering Services Association.

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