July 2021

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How NUDE(D) do we need to be to Navigate the Next New?
nicolasNicolas Waern
"The Building Whisperer"



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What inspired me to write this article was something I also talked about last month in the article “What killed the Dinosaurs? The AI-age!”. It will be about how companies are viewing technologies and how companies could get started. After all, before we can think outside the box, we first must define the box. And the best starting point to find and leverage scalable and innovative solutions is to have well-defined problems.

What view of technology do existing companies have in the Real Estate Industry? What view do they need to have? Don’t we also need a planetary purpose and advance the industry? How can we create Smarter Buildings together? Does the recipe I created last year still hold true?

Are we collaborating around the same tools as we have always done? What parts of our technology stack are advancing whilst others are not? Should we aim for a world with people first? Or People and Systems working in tandem?

People, Profit, and a Planetary Purpose

What are the trends in society today and what do they mean? The overall trend seems to be that people should be the focus of creating better buildings. Energy savings, predictive maintenance, internet of things, smart city inclusiveness, and all those new techy things are important.

But if buildings aren’t robust, useful, and attractive and if they don’t benefit the planet, nor people, then what are they good for? We talked about this last week in a panel discussion by SIEMENS.


ii. Panel discussion around the topic of how to create smart buildings

These where the topics of the discussion and if you are interested, just reach out to me and I will send you a link because it is not out in the open yet.

But going back to what we need to do to create Smart Buildings I cannot help but think that we have some ways to go before buildings, and organizations become more digital. And to also think about the perspective of alternate views on how to get there.

I find that the 3-30-300 rule from JLL is one of the more interesting concepts out there. I have touched upon it before in many of my articles and the one article that I usually circle back to is the Trillion Dollar Opportunity article from Brad White. Read it, and then read it again. It is one of the most prolific articles in the building automation space that I believe has ever been written. And it is only about the fraction of the value that could be created! But is more and more relevant every day, for all of us.

The conclusion to the article is that the only thing standing in the way of smarter and better buildings is a lack of imagination, and the willingness to do what needs to be done with the tools that are at our disposal. The technology exists, even more so today than 5 years ago. But what about the imagination, and viewing technology as an enabler instead of a utility? Are companies in the building automation community embracing new ways of working and utilizing modern tools to do the job? Or are companies stuck with legacy technology as well as old mindsets? Are existing companies built to die? And if they are, how can they get re-born connected?

Be as NUDE as you can be?

More and more companies are becoming more technology driven. Banks are becoming software companies that happen to deal with money. Retail companies are data-companies that happen to sell shoes.

But what about system integrators? What about the traditional HVAC industry and players in that field? Are they too becoming data-driven companies that happen to deal with buildings? Or are the existing processes, culture, people, roles, and existing systems as well as industry dynamics and people-focused business models against this?

Will there be insightful decisions being made or will most of the existing companies be disrupted?

The NUDE-acronym could provide a good starting point to reflect on how technology (IT) is being viewed by companies, as well as individuals. The way how we view IT can be of a huge difference for us, and our organizations. Coupled with RGT, Run, Grow, Transform, NUDE can be a powerful tool to start the future.

NUDE stands for the different perspectives of how organizations can view technology.

None - There are no synergies between business and technology
Utility - Cost/rational perspective, where it is being used, but not thought of
Dependent - The business side of things is linked to technology and is needed to run daily operations
Enabling - Technology is an integrated part of the strategy process and it is a dynamic interaction between the cognition of strategy and technology. Investments are made to create a competitive advantage over others.

And also the new addition to NUDE.


A Digital DNA. That is what companies today are competing with. Not their industry peers. Not the dinosaurs of yore. But the companies that have speed, and AI-ready data fabrics in their digital operating models and digital business models.

We need to compete in the age of AI

Companies starting today should have technology in their DNA. I have talked about it at a blockchain conference in Mallorca. Written about it for the Beyond Buildings Podcast.

Where the example of Bank of America with their 212 000 people company services 70 million people. And where their counterpart in Asia, ANT Financial services 720 million people with 11000 employees. Where growth = efficiency.

It is true that traditional industries such as the building automation space might not have had a need for real-time data across portfolios. And where resource decisions are based on past or current needs rather than future needs. But how long are companies protecting the past instead of protecting their future? Is this mindset sustainable? Are we not moving towards individual buildings to portfolios and smart city thinking? When buildings get more and more connected how will companies respond to security threats, and what tools should they have at their disposal?

Will building automation companies learn more about the tech side of things fast enough?

Or is it more likely that tech companies learn the building automation side of things first?

Which side do you want to be on?

Change before you have to. And do it in an open, collaborative way where you focus on what you do best whilst leveraging technology and partnering up with others to create sustainable value. If that is not the only way to take control in an ever-changing future where speed is of the essence, I do not know what is.  

And as always, go out there and start something. That is the only way to learn.

We will be talking more about AI-enablement the next episodes of the Beyond Buildings Podcast, so stay tuned for more. And do connect with me on Linkedin if you have not done so already!

And if you or someone you know need help with questions regarding strategy, innovation, and figuring out how modern technologies can help you where you are today. Look no further. WINNIIO will always be by your side. Just reach out to me, Nicolas Waern, on LinkedIn or check out my Podcast Beyond Buildings if you need any assistance.

Nicolas Waern



Nicolas Waern is the CEO, Strategy & Innovation Leader, and a Digital Twin Evangelist at the consulting firm WINNIIO. He is a firm believer that the Real Estate Industry needs more of a lifecycle focus where we need to go Beyond Buildings and come back with an understanding what tools and technology we could use. And to solve the jobs to be done, together, with an open mindset.

Nicolas is working with leaders in several industries to understand how they can succeed in the age of AI. Predicting what the world will do in a week, a month, a year from now and to best utilize strategies and solutions that pass the test of time. He does this through a Digitalization- on Demand approach for anyone that needs to change before they have to.

Nicolas is a Podcast Creator & Newsletter Editor for Beyond Buildings
Thought Leader regarding Smart Buildings & Building Automation for AutomatedBuildings
Speaker and Influencer Event Streaming Platforms as the Holy Grail for Industry 4.0 Applications
Subject Matter Expert Real Estate Digitalization Proptech Digitalization Expert
Active Member of Digital Twin working groups Digital Twin Subject Matter Expert


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