The traditional workplace is going away. For the last few decades, it’s been evolving from uninviting factory-style floors and cubicle farms to open spaces. Now enters the smart, or connected, office, to offer more flexibility, productivity, and safety.
According to MarketsandMarkets™ report on the smart office market, its value will more than double from $22.21 billion in 2017 to $46.11 billion in 2023, growing at a 12.94% CAGR. At the same time, the research by IoT Analytics shows that connected buildings account for a 12% share in the global volume of IoT projects, preceded only by smart cities and connected industries.
IoT software development is central to the whole concept of connected offices, and it’s far from simple if we look at it from a technological standpoint. Sensors, network connectivity, myriad of devices, and a fine mesh of big data behind it all make smart office no low hanging fruit.
That’s why, despite optimistic figures, IoT adoption at enterprises can still pose a few challenges. The majority of them deal with user buy-in, a solution’s relevance to real-life needs of its adopters, as well as its overall fitness into a corporate environment. In the following overview of Itransition’s smart office projects, we share the highlights of creating both popular and effective IoT solutions while addressing these common adoption challenges.
In one of our pioneering projects for a European manufacturer of smart building management solutions, Itransition’s team pitched in to optimize the customer’s enterprise IoT platform.
Back in 2013, we set up a dedicated development center to maintain the customer’s mobile platform for real-time physical security monitoring.
The intelligent system manages automatic door locks to office spaces, which can be accessed only with a secure PIN or access token. It also allows restricting access permissions and setting the time for automatic unlocking of doors.
Intercommunicating with hundreds of devices and assets such as automatic locks and cameras, the platform is also in heavy use by employers globally. As this platform has been powering physical security at thousands of buildings, scalability and load resiliency were among the top project priorities.
Itransition’s task was to ensure the mobile IoT platform could cope well with server requests without failing on its responsibilities. Among such critical functions of the platform were providing localization in seven languages and displaying security-related imagery in real time.
To make this solution fit for its purpose, our team converted the platform’s frontend into a progressive web app. They also made good use of pre-caching to sustain peak loads and enable the offline mode.
The success of any enterprise IoT initiative is defined by how usable it is for its target audience. Guided by this principle, Itransition revamped the platform’s frontend to make it serve content faster than before, minimizing the number of server requests and loading times.
This way, one of the major takeaways for budding smart office adopters is to address user buy-in challenges to balance functional value with ease of use.
The need for flexible office spaces is on the rise. Thanks to the increased workforce mobility and freelancing boom, many people today need remote co-working spaces and meeting rooms, regularly or while away on business trips. This is how one of our customers came up with the idea of an app for booking remote office spaces.
Our customer has created a network of temporary office spaces for rent. These spaces can be booked right next to train stations, airports, and conference centers so that people who only have a few hours in the city can use their time efficiently.
Such remote office facilities include rooms equipped with audio and video systems, which all can be rented by the hour or day and accessed securely with a unique PIN.
Itransition helped the customer interconnect all the devices and facilities into one network that could be managed in real time. To assist users with booking, there’s also a customer support system integrated with the solution.
The user-facing part of this enterprise IoT solution, the booking app, was a major focus in the project. For this reason, Itransition’s team continuously monitored feedback from admins and users to align the app’s functionality with real-life use scenarios.
The value of this solution comes from its relevance—that is, the ability to solve employees’ pressing issues with smart technology. Continuous improvements of the solution based on users’ immediate feedback make remote workplaces even more convenient and productive.
The mobility of today’s workforce is impressive. The Global Business Travel Association estimated the total volume of project-related business travel market to hit $45.4 billion in 2017. This is where employee well-being extends beyond the confines of traditional offices and becomes an extra concern for employers.
To address this concern, Itransition’s R&D department came up with a smart app monitoring employees’ safety when driving corporate rented cars.
Analyzing the causes behind serious car accident injuries, the project team narrowed down its focus to the one that was both common and preventable—namely, not wearing a seat belt while driving. The state crash records over the past five years proved that using a seat belt might reduce fatality risks during a car crash by 40 times.
For this purpose, Itransition developed a proof of concept of an iOS/Android app that connects to the sensors installed in corporate vehicles. In each particular case, the HR specialist responsible for a business traveler’s safety would receive a push notification or an email alert as soon as the business traveler starts driving without a seat belt on.
The app collects sensor data for managers to make informed improvements to internal business travel policies, which can potentially save companies millions of dollars on insurance premiums.
The key success factor for this solution is its fitness into both the corporate environment and structure. Every architectural part of the app is taken into account—from how sensors collect data to how they communicate it to the admins, business travel supervisors, and ultimately decision makers.
The value of this connected car app for ensuring drivers’ safety and protecting accident-induced losses also makes it a good fit for car rental services.
We’ve tapped into just three of our connected office projects, yet they serve as fine examples of enterprise-grade IoT implementation.
Each solution of this kind is certainly a disruption to traditional business infrastructures, requiring though-out adoption strategies. The case studies above show that creating a smart office culture is possible when an IoT system is developed with its users, location, and purpose carefully considered.