Mark Tyson is operations director for Mitie Energy and has 10 years’ experience working in the FM and Energy industries focusing on analysis of building and energy data to make demonstrable improvements for clients. Mark helps businesses understand how you use this data to enhance the building user experience and increase levels of personal productivity in the working environment.
Mark is responsible for Mitie’s Building Management System (BMS) maintenance and installation business, integrated energy projects, energy management teams across the UK and low carbon consultancy.

How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?

Over 3 years ago as part of the Mitie M&E maintenance business we realised there is a better way to deliver services to the building user. Traditionally, the focus had been on statutory compliance and reactive response which although fundamental meant we were in a highly commoditised, low value cycle with our customers. So working together with some great people in Mitie we started working on our ‘Smart Buildings’ proposition with building users and comfort at the center of what we wanted to deliver to our clients.

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?

The opportunity it creates for Facilities Management and Property teams to partner with HR and IT to deliver new ways of working and offer pro-active services. It’s an exciting time to modernise the industry and develop a strategic approach for our clients at the ‘C level’ outside of property.

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?

I think location based services can enhance existing sensor and building technology. By understanding the building user journey live, and being able to communicate with them before they realise there is an issue or problem will re-align how our services are perceived by the people using the space.

What services does your company offer?

Mitie is able to offer an integrated solution which combines clever technology, off-site analysts and on-site operational teams. Using that data onsite is the biggest challenge. If our teams aren’t able to use the data to change existing processes or service levels there is limited value on collecting the data in the first place.

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?

From a building operator perspective I think regulations will constantly evolve and it’s part of our job to inform and educate clients. For example, regulations around air-quality and noise levels in commercial offices could be mandated as a result of starting to actively measure these areas. I also think that best practice has a big part to play and we will see customers looking to set the bar high to attract the best talent by adopting frameworks such as the WELL Building Standard®.

What are the benefits of a smart building?

I don’t think we truly know yet. We are still in the early stages of this technology and understanding its true benefits. Ultimately it can start to affect broader outcomes/ productivity for organisations that understand how their environment affects their employees and customers. A good example of this will be in healthcare where Smart Buildings could start affecting the clinical outcomes of patients through linking recovery times with the environmental conditions.
I also see the automation of tasks such as emergency light testing and legionella sampling allowing engineers and FM’s to focus their time on delivering a pro-active service.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

I am lucky to have had a strong sponsor throughout my time at Mitie who has pushed me into new situations and continued to set new challenges. Not always working directly with each other I have been able to rely on his support to try new things and develop people. I won’t name him but I am sure he will know who he is when he reads this!

What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?

This has been tried before – why is it going to work this time? The reality is it is tough to have a truly new idea but how you combine this with existing processes and people gives innovation the best opportunity to succeed.

What are the best/worst things about your job?

The best thing is when a client says they have noticed the benefit of a change we have made at site level. The worst thing is always thinking we could give more time to more ideas. If we had an unlimited budget it makes you wonder what would be achievable!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Take your time to understand lots of different roles. Careers aren’t linear anymore, so learning new skills and having varied experiences early on is critical. Also get a mentor - they can guide you through an organisation and give you invaluable help along the way.

What living person do you admire and why?

Other than my wife I would say Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) who has the relentless drive to push the limits of what is possible with the customer truly at the center of the business strategy. I recently read a book about him and the main thing that stays with me is how brave he is with his decisions. For example he took his main MD of the paper book business and sent him to the desert with three or four technical wizards to build the business that will beat his business. His view is if they didn’t do it internally someone else would do it – he was right and that’s how they came up with, and took the ‘Kindle’ to market.

Where would you most like to live?

Where I do now in Earlsfield, South West London with my wife Rachel and 1-year old son Alfie.

What is your favourite book?

My favourite business book is ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins and from a fiction perspective, it would be anything by Kate Atkinson.

How do you relax?

I relax by spending time with my family and friends, playing tennis and watching as much sport as I can fit in!

What sports team do you support?

I am Crystal Palace FC season ticket holder. We are currently enjoying arguably the best period of our history so it’s a great time to be at Selhurst Park!

What is your desert island disk?

Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. It’s my favourite song which gets better with time and now also reminds me of my wedding day (which I suppose could make me sad if I was on a desert Island without my family!)

What is your ideal holiday?

Somewhere hot, with a lovely pool where you can see and hear the sea. It’s the only time I get to read properly so I would also take with me a crime thriller, business leader autobiography and random non-fiction historical or political book with me.