Industry snapshot: FM reader survey results

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Early this year, FM, in partnership with FMJ in the UK and Service Works Global, conducted a tech survey. The results are now published and paint a detailed picture of the industry.

‘FM Tech Survey 2020’ explores FM professionals’ budgetary changes, software use, automation approaches and challenges against a number of trends and challenges. Here’s a look at the results from our Australian readers. The survey closed in March 2020 so does not factor in subsequent changes brought on by COVID-19.

Positively, 32 percent of Australian respondents reported an increased budget for 2020 and 55 percent stayed the same. These results follow the same trend as the 2018 results. Budget changes were mainly attributed to increased work required for ageing buildings, new contracts and increased scope of services, and to enable investment in technology.

Software use

Australian FMs are getting plenty of use out of software, with 91 percent using it for planned maintenance, 89 percent for reactive maintenance and 79 percent for asset management. Still, many expressed a desire for more software functionality for further support – 45 percent are satisfied with their software. Fourteen percent are unsatisfied with their in-house system while four percent of those using an industry vendor are unsatisfied.

Many (57 percent) are looking to change their system because it is outdated and 68 percent say it lacks the required functionality. Half want their solution to integrate with other solutions but cannot.


The top five integrated systems for Australian FMs are finance and procurement, building management system, health and safety, property and human resources. The amount of users with an integrated system has increased by 10 percent since 2018, to 65 percent.

Of everyone across the entire survey who reported their computer-aided facility management (CAFM) was helping their company save money, 75 percent were using an integrated system.

Automation and smart buildings

‘IoT/sensors’ is recognised as the second most important trend in FM, behind energy management, by Australian respondents. In 2017’s survey, it was ranked sixth. Australian FMs are positive about automation, with only seven percent feeling it will have a negative impact on their role.

Technology adoption and training is about as much of a challenge as it was in 2017, although now respondents believe the benefits outweigh the challenges of implementation.

Building information modelling (BIM) is proving slow to uptake, with only 12 percent of Australian respondents using it and 19 percent of UK respondents. Twenty-two percent of Australians believe it’s not relevant for their organisation, 18 percent plan to utilise it in the future and 19 percent are unsure why they’re not using BIM. BIM was ranked as the year’s fourth most significant trend.

Energy management, Iot/sensors and building life cycle management are the three most notable trends in Australia.

Here are the top six challenges for Australian FMs:

  1. energy management
  2. budgetary pressure
  3. extending asset life
  4. tech adoption and training
  5. new legislation, and
  6. data and system security.

Across the board, Australia is lagging slightly behind the UK when it comes to attitudes towards and use of technology. “Australia is ready to take FM to the next level, but is strategically planning for the right time and tools,” says the report, “with many reporting having been stung by hurried implementation previously.”

For more findings and analysis on the FM state of play, download the full report.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

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