Deployment Speeds: Maximize Change for Advancement

The BICSI 2023 Winter Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Conference highlighted technology-driven changes impacting the tech industry. Adaptive artificial intelligence, emerging metaverse capabilities, and the exponential growth of data analytics are poised to disrupt the ICT landscape. All three technologies require an infrastructure capable of processing massive volumes of data quickly.

Ronna Davis of SysComm spoke about the need for sustainable network architecture in a presentation at BICSI’s 2023 Winter ICT conference. Her presentation, entitled Location, Location, Location–Architecture Solutions to Meet Future Building Network Demands, discussed how the ICT industry needs to plan for ever-increasing demands on infrastructure. Companies will be looking for accessible networks that offer more power and greater bandwidth at higher speeds.

How can the industry avoid a disruption that cascades to impact customers? How can it address the unstated need for faster deployment capabilities? Is it possible for organizations to meet the connectivity requirements without addressing labor shortages and sustainability?

What’s Driving the Disruption?

While advanced technologies are crucial to the shifting ICT landscape, they are not the only factor adding pressure. The federal General Accounting Office (GAO) delivered a report in December 2022 outlining factors that might impact the government’s ability to provide broadband equity and 5G infrastructure as mandated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The GAO determined that a lack of skilled labor was the primary limitation to delivering connectivity equity in the United States.

While the growing shortage of construction workers is not a new trend, the added pressure of delivering on a government mandate means more competition for a limited workforce. The world’s commitment to reducing fossil fuel dependence compounds the problem, as buildings may require updated infrastructure to become more energy efficient. Such an undertaking means relocating or redistributing cables and wiring, which only widens the gap between the need for skilled labor and the supply.

What Technology is Driving the Disruption?

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to grow 19.4% between 2022 and 2027. Industries are deploying more devices, and people are buying more innovative devices for their homes and, in the case of smartphones, taking them to work. The increased IoT concentration means more power, more capacity, and faster transmission.

Many IoT devices reside at the edge of a network, recording temperature data on factory floors and driving smart boards in conference rooms. These devices appear in research labs and product test facilities and are often located beyond the traditional network perimeter, which requires that companies extend their networks.

As more businesses deploy artificial intelligence (AI), the demand for faster and more reliable connections will increase. AI uses volumes of data from multiple sources to respond in real time. For example, AI can automate environmental controls within an office complex or multi-tenant building. Through IoT devices, AI can collect data in real time to save energy. In practice, this could look like a window sensor recording an increase in temperature. an AI responds to this by lowering a window shade to keep radiant heat out of the building’s interior, thus cutting down on air conditioning.

Because many IoT solutions incorporate AI, power, and connectivity, there will be an increase in the demand for network resources at locations outside of an existing network. Extending the infrastructure to these locations or relocating existing cables can become expensive and time-consuming when qualified labor is in short supply.

Why is There a Labor Shortage?

The Associated Builders and Contractors states that the construction industry must hire over 500,000 workers in 2023 to meet demand. All of these workers are considered skilled labor. Although residential construction has slowed, large infrastructure projects and clean energy facilities continue to grow.

Many of these large projects require support for advanced technologies that demand more capacity and power. Much of the skilled labor force is aging out. About one in four workers are older than 55. Four out of ten new employees are classified as general construction, meaning that almost half of the younger labor force is considered unskilled.

Not only is the labor force shrinking, but it is also less productive. Experience translates into productivity. As with any profession, proficiency comes with experience. With more seasoned workers leaving, the time to complete projects will increase until entry-level employees gain experience. The decline in productivity comes at a time when businesses need faster deployment speeds.

How to Prepare for Disruption

Even if every open position were filled today, there would still need to be a solution to the problem of slow deployments. The skills required to deploy complex networks to support advanced technologies are still being determined. It takes time. However, finding solutions that make it easier for less-experienced workers to perform more complex tasks can help increase deployment speeds.

Simplified Distribution Systems

Solutions that minimize running cables and relocating existing ones are less intrusive and require less skilled labor. The Gridd ®Adaptive Cabling Distribution® System an accessible, raised flooring system that facilitates cable management. The Gridd design eases the pressure on building managers and construction supervisors for faster deployments.

The system consists of modular flooring components that can be reconfigured. Cables can be moved along the grid lines to adjust to changing demands. There’s no need to run new cables or make holes in ceilings to find existing runs. Just reconfigure the cabling to meet current demands.

Single System Deployment

Consolidating power and cable management systems reduces the time spent in the deployment phase. Using Gridd® Power with the Gridd adaptive cabling distribution system means maintaining one system instead of two. Time is no longer spent trying to monitor two separate systems. Everything a building needs to meet the increasing demands of power and data is in one system with a single interface—Gridd® Mobile.

Faster Flexibility

Gridd® Mobileis an application that provides facility managers, electricians, and maintenance personnel with a real-time picture of data and power cables. Users can download the app on any smart device to see the cabling configuration below the floor.

The app uses augmented reality (AR) to give users a more accurate picture of their power and cable deployment. Having a real-time view of the existing system means faster changes and easier deployments.

FreeAxezraised floors with cable and power management provide flexibility to adapt to changing infrastructure demands without costly alterations to walls or ceilings. This revolutionary design enables businesses to deliver the infrastructure advanced technology demands at deployment speeds that companies expect without requiring highly skilled labor.

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