Channel markets, Vertical markets

MSSPs and Physical, Digital Building Management: Big Revenue Opportunity?

This is the basic premise of a building management system (BMS), or building automation system (BAS): It’s specialized, integrated technology that enables facility administrators to listen to what a building is saying about its operations, ranging from mechanical and electrical to security, both physical and digital.

Think about that for a moment--even the most basic of BMS systems can transform a building into a sort of living thing that constantly provides information to facility managers. The simplest of systems only require software, a server and a smattering of smart sensors connected to a network.

Should some of the data on the building’s condition gathered by those sensors fall out of pre-defined parameters, the anomalies are readily identified and, hopefully, rapidly addressed. That keeps the building alive and thriving. In larger installations, for obvious reasons handheld systems are not optional, they’re a necessity.

If that sounds like the BMS meets the Internet of Things (IoT) meets mobile, smart devices (and meets managed security services)--well, you’re on the same track that led researcher MarketsandMarkets to expect the BMS segment to catapult by nearly 17 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to just shy of $20 billion by 2023.

The IoT smart device tie-in presents a glowing market opportunity for physical and digital managed security services. Here’s why: Many experts and researchers agree that the next fertile vector for cybersecurity attacks are IoT-connected devices such as sensors, cameras, and the like. They can escape notice on the network, something an MSSP would catch and fix, in the process of managing and monitoring a building's IT operations.

Along those lines, MarketsandMarkets has produced a new report on the BMS market--brace yourself, here’s the title: Building Management System Market by Software (Facility, Security, Energy, Emergency, Infrastructure Management), Service (Professional, Managed), Application (Residential, Commercial, Industrial), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2023.

The gist of what MarketsandMarkets says: Purpose-built, network integrated smart devices for building automation and management are expected to be more self-governing and intelligent in terms of sharing data with BASs and with the cloud. Translated: BMS meet the IoT meet the cloud meet mobile, just as we said.

Market factors propelling the BMS segment are compelling--cost savings to three major user groups--industrial, commercial and residential--simplified building operations and maintenance, and increasing demand for energy-efficient and eco-friendly buildings. Among the market slices, MarketsandMarkets expects facility management software to command the largest share.

But it is BMS managed services--outsourced IT operations--that is expected to experience the highest rate of growth, according to the researcher. MarketsandMarkets figures that even as buildings become smarter and overcome inefficiencies, the most advanced intelligent building technology still requires what it calls “human oversight” to help identify and eliminate problems, perform ongoing maintenance and monitor energy management operations. For security, that's where MSSPs come into play, hence the open market opportunity.

Major technology players in the market include Honeywell, Siemens, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, United Technologies, IBM, Ingersoll-Rand and Delta Controls.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.