With 2024 in full swing, several key insights into the facility management market in Ireland reveal new opportunities and challenges as well as trends likely to impact the industry. Namely, the early adoption of innovative technologies in 2023 and its subsequent disruptions are simultaneously beginning to bear fruit as well as show opportunities for innovative new approaches to facility management.
The key facility management trends for 2024 in Ireland will be analysed in greater detail in terms of trending market drivers affecting the facility management industry as well as challenges and trends in facility management outsourcing.
Facility Management Market Challenges in Ireland in 2024
The rapid adoption of AI and innovative technologies, as well as rapid shifts in the labour market are likely to be some of the biggest challenges to the facility management industry in 2024 in Ireland. A report from MarketWide Research has summarised the key restraints as:
- Substantial initial investment in innovative technologies that may favour large organisations over small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- Large cohort of older skilled workforce retiring combined with a lack of skilled talent to compensate. Moreover, fears of a growing competency crisis may exacerbate the skill shortage for skilled tradesmen and experienced facility management personnel;
- A resistance to change whereby many established organisations may be reticent to outsourcing facility management in favour of keeping it in-house;
- Data security and privacy concerns due to the increased reliance on technology and the ever-present risk of data breaches.
Moreover, although not only affecting the facility management market, steadily increasing inflation in the post-pandemic years may pose challenges due to the high operational costs for energy, for example. According to Ray Brosnan, our managing director, “The reluctance to embrace change hampers facility management outsourcing. However, companies can only stand to benefit by outsourcing facility management.”
Key Market Drivers
Although there are many novel challenges to the facility management industry in Ireland in 2024, there are also many growth opportunities. Facility Management Services will remain in high demand due to the following market drivers:
Hand in hand with rising inflation and energy prices, organisations and facility management professionals are highly incentivised to seek cost-efficient solutions that reduce operational costs as well as automate repetitive non-cognitive tasks with new and burgeoning technologies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Two of the biggest technologies to have become relatively mainstream in 2023 and 2024 are AI and ML. Along with Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, facility management professionals now have invaluable tools to streamline and improve operational processes for portfolio properties.
Examples of areas where these technologies can greatly improve processes include budgeting, predictive maintenance schedules, and automating vendor quote approvals.
Predictive Maintenance with Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
IoT and CMMS integrations can not only improve efficiency for facility management processes, but they can also monitor and evaluate conditions in properties that went undetected or unnoticed in the past.
This could include consistent real-time monitoring of motors and detecting refrigerant leaks in facilities, for example, which can in turn lead to optimised predictive maintenance. These can subsequently save clients from costly repairs or replacements by scheduling predictive maintenance as needed.
Sustainability and Energy Performance
As with many industries, facility management is incentivised to seek more energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions that lower the carbon footprint of managed properties.
When combined with CMMS, for example, facility management personnel can automate the use of lighting and HVAC during peak and off-peak hours.
Increasingly, regulations in Ireland that organisations must consider include safety, security, and environmental sustainability.
Maintaining compliance can be laborious and complex, which is why more and more organisations are choosing Facility Management Outsourcing for facility management processes. Whether to choose in-house or outsourcing is a real dilemma that key stakeholders within organisations must evaluate.
Complex Systems Integrations
Just as technologies are improving the processes for facility management professionals in 2024, modern buildings and those that have undergone remodelling tend to have far more complex HVAC, electrical, and security systems that can be challenging to oversee efficiently.
Professional Property Maintenance and facility management services can manage these more complex systems effectively.
Facilities Management Outsourcing Trends in 2024
If the trends in the facility management industry in Ireland in 2024 can be briefly summarised, it is evident that the increased adoption of technologies and as need for environmental and regulatory compliance likewise increase, the overall trend is that complexity is increasing.
For many organisations, facility management outsourcing and Strategic Outsourcing are commonplace, particularly to facility management professionals who specialise in these ever more complex systems. Some of the key outsourcing trends for 2024 include:
Net-Zero & Energy Efficiency
Reducing the carbon footprint of facilities is essential in order to strive to achieve net-zero goals and corporate social responsibility, as well as to reduce energy waste and lower energy expenditures.
Facility management outsourcing can greatly lower energy waste and needless consumption with modern technologies such as CMMS and software-based solutions for optimising energy usage and monitoring energy waste.
Focus on Soft Skills and Core Competencies
In an age of increasing automation many cognitive skill-based tasks can be automated, but non-cognitive “soft skills” are far more human and will likely grow in demand.
While many repetitive tasks may be safer and perhaps more efficient to automate, the core competencies and old-fashioned handshakes needed in the business world will remain as important as ever. Organisations that outsource their facility management processes can dedicate more of their resources to fostering business relationships in a human way.
Adapting to Changes to Work Schedules
The trend of remote work from the pandemic years has, for many organisations, reverted to either a return-to-office schedule for employees, but many have embraced hybrid or continued remote work schedules as well. These sorts of changes drastically affect the patterns of usage within a facility and the need for reliable IT infrastructure to permit high-speed WiFi connectivity for videoconferencing and collaborative applications.
Facility management personnel must be able to ensure that IT systems can support these new and modern ways of collaborating as well as automate network and WiFi processes in order to quickly resolve any issues that may arise.
Overcoming Labour Market Constraints
A large cohort of facility management professionals fall within the Baby Boomer generational demographic and have begun to retire in massive numbers. The lack of a similarly sized younger generation, combined with a noticeable shortage of skilled labour such as tradesmen in Ireland, will continue to be enormous constraints on the availability of skilled talent.
“Outsourcing can alleviate this by making the optimal use of resources and talent available,” said Ray Brosnan. “Dedicated professional facility management companies can cover more ground, even with fewer skilled professionals, due to the increased adoption of technologies that automate repetitive tasks as well as the tendency for younger skilled professionals to be more tech-savvy.”
According to Ray Brosnan, “At Brosnan, we use technology and tech-savvy talent to amplify efficiency, getting more done. The seamless blend of experience and innovation defines a new era in facility management.”
Choose Brosnan Property Solutions for Facility Management in 2024
Irish businesses looking to optimise the utility of their facilities need look no further than Brosnan Property Solutions, as we remain on top of facility management trends in 2024 and beyond. Outsource your facility management to our qualified team of professionals and receive top-notch solutions that meet the unique needs of your business.
About the Author:
Ray Brosnan, Managing Director of Corporate Solutions at Brosnans Property Solutions, has over 20 years of experience providing comprehensive building refurbishment, maintenance, and remedial works to a diverse clientele across the private and public sector. His strong leadership underpins our reputation for high quality work, rapid responses and accurate project management capabilities.