Vernetzung der gebauten Welt

Vernetzung der gebauten Welt

Building Optimization

Cloud Platform vs. Cloud Solution - Differences and Added Value for Building Operations

The real estate industry continues to pick up speed in terms of digitalization and is learning to skillfully exploit the resulting added value. This new wave is bringing more and more startups, PropTechs and ConTechs onto the market that are meeting the current challenges of this time with digital solutions. So for every problem in the building, there is a suitable stand-alone solution. But at the same time, the market is flooded with proprietary individual solutions that all come with their own app or platform. Holistic approaches in the form of an integrative, open cloud platform are rare. All too often, operators or property managers do not think far enough ahead, so that singular cloud solutions create their own vendor lock-in and end up facing numerous applications in operation or even closing themselves off to innovations. Efficiency is no longer an option here. We would like to take this as an opportunity to compare cloud solutions and cloud platforms and thus show how the digitization wave of the real estate industry can remain understandable and efficient at the same time.

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Cloud solutions for singular problems

The current requirements of modern buildings need technical solutions - and the great mass of PropTechs deliver them in the form of real, targeted cloud solutions. Well-designed and with optimized usability, they solve exactly the problems for which they were designed and programmed.

On the one hand, building owners want to get closer to users and be informed about the goodness of their properties. They want to know about the actual use and performance of their buildings. On the other hand, there is a need to optimize buildings and increase operational efficiency. Real estate should become more sustainable because it plays an important role in the energy system of the future. So future-proofing real estate is crucial. This is the only way building owners can respond flexibly to future demands from users and tenants. User and tenant satisfaction are therefore the measure of all things alongside sustainability and operating efficiency, but in return they also need the willingness of users. But if you only deal with the singular problems, you lose sight of the big picture.

Cloud platform as a holistic solution approach

How do you unite these many isolated digital solutions in a building so that collaborative and synergy-generating cooperation becomes possible?

First of all, it is important to obtain a comprehensive data image. Only if you have comprehensive data availability on building usage, building operations and asset utilization can you make verified statements about which cloud solutions you really need in the building. This data integrity and the interaction with all trades in the building are therefore the be-all and end-all when it comes to selecting the right cloud solutions. But now we are at the real heart of the problem: bringing all the data together.

This is where a higher-level cloud platform can help, on the one hand to ensure data availability and on the other hand to bring all systems together by centralizing all data strands. It is therefore the linchpin of digitization in the building. But the cloud platform can do even more than singular cloud solutions, because it can integrate the latter in unlimited numbers. This means that the previously stand-alone cloud solutions can be integrated into the overall digital concept of the building in the form of a central cloud platform if they are not built completely proprietary. This eliminates the need to operate each cloud solution individually, which raises the entire building operation to a higher and simultaneously more efficient level.

Single Use Case vs. Comprehensive Analyses

The problem with proprietary stand-alone solutions is that each of them can map its own use case excellently and is thus focused on only one specific problem. I would like to explain this briefly with an example: If an app is made available to tenants and users in a building that can be used to request fault clearance, this cloud-based solution is geared to precisely this use case. Nothing more, nothing less. When a user reports a malfunction, the facility manager receives a message and can process and acknowledge it. But there is much more to the reporting of faults than just user satisfaction. Entire facility systems can be affected, which can be associated with high costs. But, whether this is the case can only be identified in painstaking manual detail work. A holistic approach in the form of a central cloud platform can initiate completely different processes here. Automated analyses can be used to indicate and take far-reaching measures. The comprehensive database required for this then serves as a large data lake from which all relevant data records can be filtered out with the help of artificial intelligence and evaluated for exactly the right use case. The higher-level processes benefit from the integration of the respective cloud solution and also process the interrelationships with other systems. The cloud platform thus brings together all the cloud solutions available in the building and derives corresponding added value for operators, users, tenants, facility management and many more.

Conclusion: One cloud platform for the sum of all cloud solutions

A close look at the individual digital solutions available in a building is only ever worth as much as the associated systems can represent. It is only through the combination and collaboration of different systems that cloud solutions become real efficiency drivers, even outside their own use case. This requires a suitable, integrative system that brings together the sum of all cloud solutions in the building and makes all data available, analyzable and controllable, or in short: a cloud platform that brings together cloud-based isolated solutions. Ultimately, a cloud platform thus serves as a superordinate ecosystem for all cloud solutions in a building and is thus the standard digital framework, both in new construction and for existing buildings.

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CEO und Co-Founder der aedifion GmbH Johannes Fütterer

Johannes Fütterer


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