by Eric Teicholz
Since the early 1960s, there have been at least four generations of digital technology in facility management, each marked by a quantum leap of capability over the one before. As we embark on the next generation of infrastructure management, it's useful to reflect on where we've come from. Author and consultant Eric Teicholz puts the evolution in perspective.
To understand facility management (FM) technology, it is necessary to understand its current context. Infrastructure management (IM), an emerging term, describes the trend toward broadening the FM application of computers beyond just facility management or real estate (RE).
IM addresses the relationships between all people, locations, and assets throughout an enterprise and provides a data automation environment for managing not only computers, but data, telecommunications, applications, and even the work processes associated with changing and maintaining this broad infrastructure.
IM incorporates not only the facility management function, but also real estate, human resources, information technology, and all aspects of finance and procurement.
Understanding the impact of IM and the evolution of digital technology, particularly the Internet, is of fundamental importance to facility managers for the effective practice of their professions.
This article is excerpted from Facility Design and Management Handbook edited by Eric Teicholz, with permission of the publisher, The McGraw-Hill Companies.
SPAN software modules of the early 1990s, when FM application modules began to integrate through shared databases.
Image: Peregrine Systems
SPACE adjacency analysis through a stacking plan, vintage mid-1980s.
Image: Graphic Systems
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