The post below is excerpted from an article by Eddy Solutions on the panel, “The Future of PropTech – a C Suite Level Discussion,” at the IoT Proptech Summit (November 19, 2020). The text has been edited for length.
During the first half of the IoT Proptech Summit, experts shared their thoughts on how the insurance landscape is changing due to IoT, how buildings are becoming smarter, and the role of connected technology in these changes. While the future of IoT and PropTech was touched on during those previous discussions, the panel that included Mark Bryant (PCL), Kathy Paul (BGIS), Travis Allan (Eddy Solutions), Michael Platt (Carma), John G. Mollenhauer (The Toronto Construction Association), and Scott McBrayne (Cadillac Fairview) provided the opportunity for a deeper conversation about what’s next.
Kathy Paul, Associate Vice President, Workplace Solutions, BGIS, noted that trends in IoT and PropTech have lately focused on three areas: health and safety (which has moved from the wish-list to the must-have list, especially with COVID-19); features that rationalize space and energy (understanding utilization and lowering energy consumption costs); and lastly, the employee/workplace experience to streamline and increase efficiency.
The panel discussion went on to focus on two key themes. The first concerned automating processes around energy, efficiency, and water mitigation, and the second related to the tenant experience and the need for a “frictionless environment” (minimizing the number of barriers for people from the time they leave their homes and get to their office desk), space planning and touchless asset management.
On the question of whether disruptors are putting more pressure on the industry, Michael Platt noted: “The disruptors are actually alleviating the pressure, not necessarily putting the pressure on.” He specifically pointed to the example that Ms. Paul shared earlier about the introduction of solutions to address COVID-19 related concerns. “I look at the construction industry and the insurance industry as industries that are experiencing tremendous challenges, whether it’s labor shortages, increased safety concerns, and decreased profitability. It is these pressures that are ultimately offering opportunities to disrupt, he said.
When asked if IoT has changed traditional industries, Travis Allan, CEO of Eddy Solutions, noted, “If you are well set-up and focused on what is going on in the market place (on meaningful pain points) that’s where preparation meets opportunity. Eddy is a company/product that is insurance-driven, and we are seeing quite a bit of tailwind right now, with our solution being driven and adopted by insurance companies”.
Staying on the topic, Mark Bryant said the current environment, while challenging, also created conditions for greater technology adoption. “PCL is focused on evolving its IoT during construction with its JSI platform. We are focused on providing strong partnerships with industry leaders across the entire value chain which will evolve JSI into a leading construction ecosystem that crosses the path, from design to construction and ultimately to occupied structures enabling enhanced services”.
A recording of the full panel discussion is available below: