Having spent three days at IFSEC with our partner Tyco and 33,000 plus global security professionals, it was clear that Smart Buildings was the topic of the week.

Are Smart Buildings just hype and the buzz word of the week that the bandwagon is jumping on, or are they a reality?

Buildings today are varied, complex structures with equal systems and technology.

Over time development and advancements, with needs of security managers, has led to significant improvement with additional investment. These improvements have touched access, lighting, heating, ventilation, security and air conditioning.

Taking building security and access technologies as an example, it’s true that these systems are becoming more and more intelligent by the day. The access cards or dongles that would have traditionally served the single purpose of giving you access to a building are expanding their functionality to additional use cases – from starting up your PC, to ordering your coffee, to activating lighting in your office. With more and more functionality, interconnectivity and use cases being addressed, the need for a reliable technological foundation for building management and security environments becomes greater.

Security managers have started to look at what comes next and to understand the new and future needs of building owners and employees. This also extends to environmental elements, such as electricity. To meet these new requirements, it is not enough to simply offer comfort, light and safety. The multiple systems needed that are managed independently today, will be managed centrally by IT command and control centers in the future.

When consolidating multiple technologies with IT and to ensure compliance with new objectives, businesses today are virtualizing their applications. In security, putting all your eggs in one basket requires significant and robust systems that must not fail.

Stratus is addressing this need with the latest evolution of our software solution – the Stratus Always-On Infrastructure for Smart Buildings. According to Vernon Turner, Senior Vice president of Enterprise Systems and IDC Fellow for the Internet of Things, “This latest evolution of the Stratus software portfolio combines Stratus’ always-on infrastructure with enhanced monitoring capabilities. The strong underlying infrastructure and visibility delivered by everRun Enterprise with everRun Monitor is addressing the challenge of managing the requirements for the consistent operation of Smart Buildings’ disparate infrastructure while maximizing efficiency and reducing cost.”

The evolution of the Smart Building is in its infancy and will remain so until buildings can really think for themselves without human intervention. That said, it’s not merely a reality of the future; advancements are being made every day. And analyst firm Gartner stated that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices – that’s a lot of connections!