According to Himanshu Khurana, CTO of Honeywell Building Solutions, while the term “smart building” might be used by some verticals and not others, various industries and environments, including hospitality, airports and hospitals are all showing increased interest in establishing smarter ecosystems.
“The stakeholders care about the outcomes for their vertical,”Khurana said. “You hear the term ‘smart building’ most when somebody is designing a new corporate headquarters. For some of them, it means that it has to have a dynamic work environment for employees. For others, it has to mean sustainability.”
He used a hospital as an example to illustrate that some verticals won’t say they want a “smart building,” necessarily. Instead, they might point to pressures to increase patient throughput and ask for a building technology that provides the least amount of resistance in this area. “So they might choose a real-time patient technology to help achieve that goal, and this is part of the smart building ecosystem,” said Khurana.
As interest in new connectivity technologies like 5G and smart buildings increases globally, experts warn against the increased cybersecurity risk that comes along with technological advancement. Khurana’s message is no different.
“Security has become an important focus area,” he stated. “When you connect some part of a building to the cloud or to an external network, you’re actually creating a risk for the entire system.”
According to him, cybersecurity in this connected era brings out the need to focus on the end-to-end network security of the whole system. He also believes that when building new solutions that are inherently connected, the development of those solutions changes. “You need a more platform perspective. You need to be able to update them more easily, and update them remotely. There are new security standards that the software has to comply with; that’s coming in in a big way.”
Lastly, he sees a developing need for the joint decision making between facility and IT about in-building systems and how they are managed. “That’s bringing some very interesting maturity on these things and it’s helpful because not only do you have to do that for cybersecurity, you kind of have to do that for new IT technologies in general,” he said.
Khurana concluded the conversation by highlighting how critical it is for those developing connectivity solutions to keep in mind what data is being generating in these systems, where that data is being stored and managed, how it is being protected, and how the platform can help create new solutions faster.
In August, Honeywell launched the next generation of Enterprise Building Integration (EBI), Command and Control Suite (CCS), and Digital Video Manager (DVM), a suite of solutions enabled by the Honeywell Forge for Buildings platform.