Using technology to develop and grow

After joining Interserve last year I spoke to Simon Latrou, editor at i-FM, about changing for the better and utilising technology, specifically data, to develop and grow a business. And these issues haven’t changed.

Creating a desire for change

Change has to start right at the beginning. The first thing you have to do is create a pull. Create a compelling desire for change. Then you have to maintain the level of engagement with every single member of the team all the way through so they fully buy into it. However it doesn’t just stop there. Change often comes in the form of new technology but the focus should not be on the technology itself, but the outcomes that can be achieved through its use. It’s not rocket science. It’s about people working together – thinking, talking and sharing.

Utilising technology

Even with the emergence of new technologies, that are supporting the development of facilities management business and businesses in general, I don’t believe the IT sector will ever overshadow facilities management. One of the things I am doing at Interserve is striving to lose the term ‘IT’. It has too many connotations of a group of boffins that sit in an ivory tower somewhere producing stuff that’s good for them and nobody else. I’m a businessman, not an IT man, so I surround myself with people who actually know how everything works.

Measuring data

One of the things I do recognise in our industry, and certainly in our business, is the need to really harness data. With predictions that 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020 just think about the amount of data coming from them – what can be done with it all? Companies may have the computing power to harness it but they also need the process, the capability and the mindset to do it properly. If you use a system effectively, the richness of the data will tell you what you need to do to change your business. By using data to compare units across multiple sites, individual profiles and lifespan we can plan maintenance ahead of time. We can move away from reactive maintenance and towards a new form of ‘predictive maintenance’ and turn the facilities management world on its head. If you can measure something you can manage it.

With a relevant login you can view the full article online at