The impact of emerging technologies on the real estate industry is just starting to be realized - including artificial intelligence, blockchain and others. Other industries including financial services are much further ahead than real estate. Significant advances include:
- Exploring how these technologies can be implemented in their business.
- Collaborative efforts have already completed pilot projects.
- Major financial institutions have applied for patents to create applications and protect anticipated revenue streams.
- Platforms have been developed that are changing the way information is collected, shared and stored, planting a firm footing in the ground for the future.
How big an impact can emerging technologies have on how we conduct business? Gartner is tracking more than 2,000 technologies. While the sheer number may seem daunting, there is an inherent danger in doing nothing. Many companies are taking a “wait and see” approach, but is this approach managing risk or risky business for real estate? Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and blockchain are just a few of the technologies gaining attention. Significant resources are being allocated to assess their potential for real competitive advantage. The approach you and your organization take to harnessing the power of these emerging technologies can create opportunity and competitive advantage, such as:
- Turbo-charge decision making
- Connect information in ways that weren’t previously possible.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning hold promise for better decisions with a faster, more sophisticated learning curve than humans exhibit.
What steps must you take to prepare for these emerging technologies? It’s a three-step process:
- Start with the data. We’re talking about a data strategy that starts with an unbiased assessment of the data that provides the information used to drive your business decisions at every level of the organization. There are no shortcuts at this first step. The preparation and effort will highlight which emerging technologies hold the greatest opportunity for implementation.
- Implement a standardized approach to collecting, organizing, and analyzing data across companies and platforms is the first step in building a strong foundation for the future.
- Establish an effective data governance program – it’s part of the foundation needed to implement emerging technologies.
These technologies are here to stay. It’s a digital world, and there’s no turning back. A major challenge is to figure out how to allocate resources among these emerging technologies, and managing risk. IT and business units must partner to determine priorities that will enable leaders to more carefully evaluate the myriad alternatives of emerging technologies available for investment and exploration. As with any investment in infrastructure, the evaluation will take a hard look at costs and benefits, as well as strategic and operational fit. No single emerging technology provides the ideal solution for both corporate and investment real estate – some are more likely to be implemented together.
OSCRE’s business plan for 2017 and beyond includes initiatives that address these emerging technologies and explore their impact and potential application for the real estate industry. We will also identify and develop proof of concept models, use cases and pilot projects that help you identify how these technologies can be implemented to advance your organization.