Evaluating new AEC/RE technologies and opportunities

The world is changing, with sensors, connectivity, faster data processing, artificial intelligence, robots, drones, wearables, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities. AEC and real estate are part of this major change. We all are watching closely as new business models emerge, driven by shared economy, mobility, and digitization.

I evaluate new technologies and explore new business opportunities constantly, and I’m frequently asked by start-ups and established technology companies how I conduct my analysis of new solutions. So, I attempted to put some of my questions into one infographic (pictured above), from the customer’s point of view.

As I have been exploring new business opportunities, I have identified two key business challenges of working with technology companies. Neither of these is a new challenge, but their importance continues to increase significantly as we move toward integrating more technologies into our lives.

  1. How companies interact with others. In this new era, companies have to adopt ecosystem partnerships. There won’t be a “Facebook” of these ecosystems, where a company will have a majority share of the market. Many companies are realizing this has to happen, but they are struggling to form true partnerships. Companies are concerned about loss of market share and not being able to protect their intellectual property. Legal and commercial concerns also make it difficult to partner.
  2. How companies operate internally. Companies have to break the silos within their organizations, whether they’ve arisen because of separate leadership and reporting structures, varying profit-and-loss responsibilities, or different competing services or products. I’ve seen this problem even with the most innovative and entrepreneurial organizations, and companies that provide cloud services and SaaS (software as a service) and/or PaaS (platform as a service) at the same time are prime examples.

AEC and real estate companies and the technology companies serving them have to adapt to the new way of business as we move toward a more efficient, smarter, safer new world. We can’t ignore that change is at our doorstep.

Based in Chicago, Burcin Kaplanoglu is a recognized industry technologist and thought leader who advises start-ups, speaks at industry events, and serves as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University. By day, he is vice president and operations director of telecommunication infrastructure at Lendlease. In addition to IoT, he writes about other tech solutions—including drones, wearables, robotics, and predictive analytics—and their applications to real estate and the AEC space.

Author’s note: I write this blog solely in a personal capacity. The views expressed above are mine alone and do not represent the official views of my employer, any clients, companies, universities, institutions, or groups with which I may be affiliated. Also, the mention of a firm or use of its logo should not be construed as an endorsement of that company or its products. —BK