Kathy Gibson reports from SATNAC 2015 – There is a massive need for new networking and data centre capacities – and facilities management is crucial to enabling this.
Cornelius van der Merwe, chief operating officer: telecommunications at Bidvest Facilities Management tells the South African Telecommunications, Networking and Applications Conference (SATNAC) that FM brings together all the people, processes and technology needed to facilitate any business.
While the GDP share of FM around the world is about 5%, South Africa lags at less than 1% – and Van der Merwe warns that this could be a problem for business as a whole.
FM ensures that the right space is defined and managed, that the infrastructure design and development is supported; and that the infrastructure maintenance takes place efficiently. If there are problems, all-hours support is necessary to bring it back online quickly.
To this end, monitoring becomes important to prevent issues from happening, and this requires integrated systems and tools. Statutory compliance and governance is part of the package offered by FM.
Continuous improvement is enabled by information management and provision, while FM also helps to manage costs.
“To do all of this we need specialised skills and we need to keep on training and fitting people into the industry,” Van der Merwe says.
FM needs to have a full understanding of the business, its strategy, business continuity, applications, real estate, processes, project management – and all in an environmentally-sustainable way, Van der Merwe adds.
They also need to understand what human resources are available; and to have sound management and leadership.