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Neil Usher
Neil Usher

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05 August 2019 | Neil Usher

Neil Usher explains how more data and technology is changing the FM industry. 

For the FM struggling to keep up with a rapidly evolving organisation, the beanstalk that is technology disappears into the mists above, with only a few twines revealed: 

  • Everyday PC and mobile applications (you do the work);
  • Databases with pretty front-ends for getting organised (you put the data in, you take the data out);
  • Fixed-asset enhancers (with simple prompts and responses – you set the parameters, extract the data and decide what to do); and
  • A host of tools filing down the rough edges of the agile workplace (desk booking – your colleagues do the work – or click-and-drag stackers – where you do it, and the output looks nice).


It’s stuff you’ve seen before, the user interface just looks sharper. You have more data to make sense of, but you’re still having to come up with the solutions. 

You could be forgiven for wondering whether what lurks above isn’t just over-hyped more of the same. 

Specific AI will change all that – tools that can instantly process huge complexity using smart algorithms that will propel FM up the value chain, generating solutions, working in tandem with your insight and experience. They are here now, and they look and feel different. 

It requires a mindset shift in both the way we see technology and the way we understand the human role. 

Accountability has only ever been human. Shifting the trust is a significant and essential step.

That’s not an ogre you can hear in the mists – it’s your own understandable, yet conquerable, doubt. 

You have a choice: you can hack down the beanstalk and watch your influence steadily dwindle, or get climbing. 

What are you going to do?

Neil Usher is chief workplace officer at GoSpace AI