Digitization of existing buildings Blog

Digitalization: Boom due to COVID-19?

At the moment, one topic dominates all aspects of everyday life: COVID-19. It is crucial for companies to be able to correctly assess the current situation, react accordingly and prepare for the future. In this context, the topic of digitalization is also increasingly coming into focus. Some predict a digitalization boom and digitalization budgets are rising. Optimization of process flows, cost savings and fact-based decisions are hoped for through the use of digital solutions. But what hurdles stand in the way of digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Promise of the Internet of Things

The economic system is being put to the test. The need for optimization is palpable in all industries. It is hoped that the digitalization of processes will lead to savings, more efficient operations and optimized use of resources. Despite the crisis, the issue of sustainability must not be forgotten, as requirements must be met in order to achieve the climate targets. In addition, significant costs can also be saved in the area of energy. Digital processes help with documentation and transparency. Data can be made accessible remotely, enabling fact-based decisions. In this way, buildings and processes can be found as digital twins on the work equipment.

Nevertheless, the Internet of Things (IoT) has not yet revolutionized economic processes as hoped. In addition to contactless payment, fingerprint technologies and online trading, there is still no major upheaval in the everyday environment. Why is that?

Hurdles of digitalization

Despite the obvious urgency, the digitalization of real estate is progressing slowly. The reasons for this are manifold, but are increasingly losing relevance:

Digitalization is complex

For many companies, especially SMEs, the terms digitalization and Internet of Things are associated with complex technologies and a lot of know-how. In the past, wireless sensors often had to be awkwardly attached, had short ranges, and resulted in data loss during transmission. Wireless technologies such as LoRa open up new possibilities. The sensors now have high building penetration and long battery life. However, the technology behind the products has become even more complex. For this reason, modern smart building platforms such as LineMetrics have developed user-friendly applications. Sensors from LineMetrics can be put into operation without any specialist knowledge. On the web platform, which can be accessed with mobile phones and laptops, the data is displayed in clear bar and curve charts.

Digitalization is expensive

In addition to the fear of the unknown, large budgets are also feared. In the meantime, however, this fear is unfounded, as technologies are offered at low monthly fees. Digitisation projects can also be started on a small scale and scaled up later. For example, the cost of a pilot project often does not even amount to €1,000.

Retrofitting of existing buildings

In addition to some advantages, cable-based solutions have the decisive disadvantage that they have to intervene in the structure of old buildings, which results in enormous costs. Sometimes these solutions are not possible at all due to legal requirements. For this reason, battery-powered sensors have established themselves as a reliable solution in recent years. The data is sent wirelessly to IoT platforms and displayed online for users. For example, the LineMetrics monitoring platform can be used to retrofit any existing building or building complex.

Security of data

Data security and data handling used to be difficult to verify and technologically immature. Even today, there are no cross-industry regulations on this, but providers are still striving for the highest level of security and transparency. LineMetrics encrypts bank-grade customer data and secures it in a European high-security data center from T-Systems.

The bottom line is that while the benefits of digital solutions are often known, they don’t know how the technology has evolved in recent years. Digitalization projects can often be implemented quickly and cost-effectively. The current crisis is increasing the pressure on companies to digitize processes. Technologies, such as the LineMetrics Smart Building platform, form the basis for rapid implementation and adaptation to the situation. In existing buildings, on-site employees without an IT background can commission the sensors independently. The data is presented in an immediately accessible and user-friendly manner.

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