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How to Streamline Facilities Management in Banks

Image of Natalie Patton
Natalie Patton

In August 2020, Toronto-based TD Bank Group announced its intention to become a leader in sustainability by helping other businesses finance their own transitions to a low-carbon economy. This decision followed its 2008 commitment to become carbon neutral, which resulted in an asset portfolio that included 100 LEED-certified locations as well as two branches and an administrative building that require zero net energy. Now, TD plans to dedicate $100 billion to lending and financing low-carbon projects, internal asset management, and corporate programs to support these efforts. 

Just like with any other industry, banking can benefit by acting on issues that are important to their customers, who often seek to do business with those whose goals align with their own. While TD’s plan is ambitious, it’s ultimately a smart business decision that resulted from listening to customers. Yet achieving goals like these takes more than good intentions; they require the right technologies. When it comes to creating more energy-efficient buildings, that means deploying building management systems with advanced analytics. With this approach, future-focused facilities management in the banking industry can go beyond going green; you can improve security, offer greater comfort, and support worker productivity.

Banking Industry Facilities Management Issues 

Many people tend to think of banks in terms of their local branch, but major banking and financial institutions rely on much larger built environments that can consume substantial amounts of energy. Though branches can benefit from smart building management systems, the real value in these systems often lies in lowering costs in the administrative office buildings, customer care facilities, and data centers that support operations and the needs of customers. 

Just like with any other large business with physical infrastructure, smart systems can improve energy efficiency by optimizing security, lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment. To function most efficiently, such infrastructure requires that facility managers have the ability to easily identify problem areas, which requires ongoing monitoring and analysis of data from each building’s network. Without the combination of these monitoring and analytical capabilities, the usefulness of building management systems is limited. With these capabilities, however, facilities management in banking can be transformed. 

Security

A prime area of focus for banking or financial institutions is security. Historically, many concerns in banking were related to physical security. Now, the digitization and decentralization of banking are making data protection and cybersecurity top priorities.

With the increase in malware, ransomware, and other cyberattacks resulting from these changes, banks need to take preventative actions to protect themselves and their customers. Virtually all banks now recognize the danger of cybercriminals and are investing heavily in digital infrastructure to keep such criminals at bay. According to a Deloitte survey published in 2020, financial institutions’ primary areas for investment were access control, data security, and detection processes. 

One of the most critical ways to prevent attacks is by weaving security into the system. Inbuilt cybersecurity solutions that govern identity and authentication for both customers and administrators can be highly effective. Secure cloud-based software that regulates HVAC, lighting, and other connected systems can also help banks effectively manage physical environments while protecting sensitive information and meeting regulatory requirements. 

Cybersecurity has become especially important for building management software that uses cloud technology and integrates IoT devices and sensors in a protected system. While weaknesses in IoT security have been blamed for some recent cyberattacks, this primarily happens due to human errors and poor security practices, such as not changing passwords on connected devices. Choosing solutions that are designed for optimal security and training employees on IoT building best practices can help to minimize these risks.

Comfort & Productivity

In larger buildings, automated building management systems can monitor and control lighting, HVAC, and other systems using digital technology to ensure specific environmental controls keep customers and workers comfortable. While connected systems and devices help make facility management in banks easier, particularly in larger office buildings and data centers, smaller branches tend to be ignored. Yet IoT building management technology can control environments in buildings with smaller footprints just as well, and the software can just as easily control multiple buildings as it can separate rooms.

Integrating Systems

Software that regulates facilities management in banks requires a basic understanding of the systems and software in order to integrate it into already existing systems. Knowing the capabilities and how to install IoT technology typically falls within the realm of IT departments, but it is the facility managers who typically use the collected data to make these automated systems more effective. 

When installing automated building systems, facility managers should: 

  • Find the best IoT devices to collect the necessary data 
  • Integrate IoT devices to monitor everyday activities to create greater efficiency
  • Determine advantages, cost, and return on investment of various smart technologies
  • Use the collected data to better understand each work environment

Collecting data, however, is not enough. That data must be transformed into actionable insights by an intelligent analytics platform. With analytics, you can truly begin to understand your building, make better decisions, and streamline your processes.

Facilities Management in Bank Branches

While it makes economic sense to use automated systems to regulate banking headquarters and other large buildings that support large workforces, individual branches can also benefit from such digital integration. 

Branches often serve as the only place banks can interact with their customers in person. But as increasing numbers of customers perform banking operations from smartphones and tablets, they use branches less. In fact, an average of three bank branches per day closed in the United States since the late 2000s. Today, many customers only use retail branches for advice or to occasionally get cash, as most everything else can be done online. 

The evolution of retail banking requires that branches integrate their operations, becoming part of a smarter banking system that provides 24/7, instant service over digital channels and at brick and mortar locations. Analytics will help branches adjust, become smarter, and optimize efficiency to ensure these buildings remain economically viable. While facilities management in banking is only a part of this transformation process, the future of bank branches lies in continued digital integration.  

How Buildings IOT Can Help

Creating truly smart facilities management strategies in the banking sector goes beyond just incorporating connected devices to control lighting and temperature. It also requires that these and other systems are secure from cyberattacks. Buildings IOT understands the importance of cybersecurity in building systems, especially when it comes to financial institutions. That is why, as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, we provide robust solutions that prioritize security at every step, such as configuring and connecting individual devices, designing networks, working with app interfaces, and providing assistance with onsite data transfers to the cloud, all while using cybersecurity best practices. 

Buildings IOT offers services and technologies that can support facilities management in banks by creating secure, efficient, and comfortable built environments for their employees and customers. Contact our expert team to learn more.

 

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