Independent research firm Verdantix has released its annual global survey of 250 real estate occupiers across 13 geographies and 18 industries on their firms’ real estate strategic direction, governance, budgets and priorities in relation to technology decisions. The survey revealed that attracting and retaining talent was the top priority for 37% of respondents, followed by building resiliency (23%), cost reduction (22%), and building occupant health and wellbeing (18%).

“Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has caused vast disruption to business operations globally this year.” commented Verdantix Industry Analyst, Dayann Charles Jeyamohan. “This has prompted many firms to prioritize talent retention and occupant wellbeing programmes within their business strategies to ensure a motivated and healthy workforce during the crisis.”

Key findings of the Verdantix ‘Global Corporate Survey 2020: Smart Building Technology Budgets, Priorities & Preferences’ report:

  • Enabling a remote workforce is the most significant factor shaping real estate strategies (96%), closely followed by social distancing and infection control (90%) and energy cost-cutting (50%).
  • 26% of real estate executives responded that COVID-19 has caused them to make new targeted digital investments, with a further 21% highlighting that it has caused them to accelerate their digitization of real estate and facilities processes.
  • Workplace management software will see the biggest increase in total spend over the next year as firms plan to replace ageing software platforms with new generation solutions that enable the easier tracking of social distancing and space utilization. Vendors offering workplace management software include Condeco, IBI (offering NSpace software), iOFFICE, Rapal, Robin Powered, and SpaceIQ.

Smart building tech vendors are set to benefit from surge of spending on smart workplace and infection control technology, including homeworking tools and energy management.

“In the near term, we find that firms are planning targeted new investments in remote collaboration, employee and environment health monitoring technology, and IoT-enabled space monitoring.” commented Verdantix industry analyst, Dayann Charles Jeyamohan. “Over the next two years, digital twin simulations and edge computing will continue to garner interest among executives. With the Verdantix Smart Building Technologies survey data, corporate managers can benchmark their firms’ smart building technology strategies, investment plans and priorities and tech vendors can align business and product plans with market demand and emerging areas of interest.”