Podcast Ep. 102: Smart cities and the intersection of technology and asset management

In episode 102 of Asset Champion, host Mike Petrusky speaks with Paul Doherty, IFMA Fellow and CEO of The Digit Group, Inc. (TDG), an American smart city real estate development and investment company. They discuss how Doherty found himself at some of the significant moments of the impact of technology with the built environment and then look at the opportunities created by new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) for better design, construction, and operations.


  • Paul Dougherty and his professional background
  • Role of AI in asset management
  • Impact of technology on the built environment
  • Importance of sustainability in asset management
  • Role of technology in the future of work

What you need to know: 3 Facility and maintenance takeaways

Takeaway 1: The importance of human-centric planning in built environments

People-centric planning relies on technologies to promote efficiency, accuracy, and decision-making in asset management, Dougherty explains.

“What is a solution?” he asks. “How about designing the space from where a person lives to where they work to where they have to shop to where they work out to then go home? Did you design it so that there’s 10,000 steps? If you did, now it becomes part of an overall way of thinking through an environment of well-being and that also includes in the workplace.”

Dougherty highlights the need to consider sustainability in its broadest sense, encompassing not just environmental factors, but also sustainable mental health and economics. “Sustainability is not just about the environment. It’s about sustainable mental health. It’s about sustainable economics. So that word sustainability is a big bucket to me. It’s not just one thing.”

Takeaway 2: The transformative impact of technology on asset management

Because of its ability to enhance efficiency and decision-making, AI will have a transformative impact on asset management. But the industry should approach technology thoughtfully, considering its potential to transform job roles, warns Dougherty.

“AI is not going to take your job, but a person using AI will. That’s the strongest way that I can say you can embrace the technology. But again, it doesn’t hug you back. So, this idea of improving the efficiency and accuracy of asset management processes and most importantly, decision-making will help everything become clearer, so that you can actually make proper decisions on sustainability, on risk management, on this idea of innovation.”

He continues: “I would not jump at everything that’s out there. But from your perspective and how you hear things from other people, it’s okay to pop popcorn every once in a while, and just watch the chaos ensue. Because eventually the dust settles and proper information comes forward that can assist you in helping your company, your assets, and the world actually be a better place for our children.”

Takeaway 3: The role of people in driving the future of asset management

It’s still the people driving the future of asset management. Dougherty emphasizes the need to prioritize people and their experiences in the design and management of assets, particularly in the context of the changing dynamics of work and the built environment.

Where should you focus? “Your people, period. Everything else I’m going to say doesn’t matter, it’s your people.”

Asset management insights

  • AI is not going to take jobs, but a person using AI will. So, there is a need to embrace technology in asset management.
  • Organizations must focus on people in the built environment, especially considering the lasting effects of the pandemic.
  • Sustainability is not just about the environment but also includes sustainable mental health and economics.
  • The future of work has changed, and asset management needs to adapt to these changes.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Go deeper. Dive into more episodes of Eptura’s Asset Champion podcasts.

Podcast Ep. 264 recap: Exploring workplace technologies for the new ways of work

In episode 264 of Workplace Innovator, host Mike Petrusky speaks with Michael Prischula, Managing Director for Intelligent Digital Workplaces at Accenture. Together, they explore the intersection of facility management, real estate, and workplace strategy for helping organizations transform their work — including technology’s role.


  • Discuss the purpose of the workplace and why it matters for effective management and innovation.
  • Examine the role technology plays in facility management and the workplace.
  • How integrating tools and data makes for better decision-making.
  • Modern office design with emphasis on creating spaces that serve people and their needs.

What you need to know: Workplace takeaways


Takeaway 1

Technology has a crucial role in redefining how people will work in the future

During the webinar, Prischula highlighted the importance of technology in transforming workplace norms. He emphasized that the current situation presents a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine how people will work in the future.

“The strategic one that I’m seeing right now a lot is help me understand what’s actually going on in the spaces that I’ve got right. Who’s coming back? When are they coming back? How are they using spaces? Why are they coming back?” said Prischula. He stressed the need for understanding these factors to make strategic decisions about the workspace portfolio.

Prischula also pointed out the need for improving conference room experiences to ensure productivity in a hybrid environment. “Investments in how do we improve conference room experience, that experience of coming into the office for a specific purpose, for a specific meeting and making sure that that activity is as productive, if not more productive, than you can do when you’re sitting at home in the office.”

Takeaway 2

The purpose of the office in the future relies on understanding its current role

Prischula urged the audience to consider the purpose of the office and how it serves the employees and the organization. By understanding its role, companies can rebuild the vision for what the office needs to do and how it functions.

“One thing that I challenge all of our clients to do is ask themselves this one question. It’s like, what’s the purpose of your office? And I don’t mean that at a superficial level,” said Prischula. He further emphasized that understanding the purpose of the workspace is key to providing the necessary services and capabilities for the team and the people using the space.

“We have this once in a lifetime opportunity to define the way that people work, possibly for many generations to come. And so my question to your audience, or my challenge to your audience, really, Mike, is will they take the opportunity?” Prischula concluded.

Takeaway 3

Tools and technologies should be integrated to provide a better workplace experience

Prischula pointed out the abundance of tools available in the market and the challenge of having too many silos between these tools. He emphasized the need for understanding why these tools exist and how they contribute to the purpose of the workspace.

“I think that’s where many organizations are missing, and, quite honestly, where we get asked by a lot of our clients to help them bring these different either tools together. Bring data from different toolsets together to help them make decisions about either how they’re operating a space or how they need to change the space,” said Prischula. He suggested combining and leveraging the information and automation these tools provide to operate spaces more efficiently and improve the experience of people consuming it.

Workplace insights

  • Organizations seek to understand how their spaces are used to make informed decisions about their portfolio.
  • Collaboration spaces are becoming more critical as people return to the office for specific purposes, and these spaces need to be made hybrid-ready.
  • There is a need to understand the purpose of the workplace, the tools used within it, and how these align with the needs of the employees and the organization.
  • The future of the workplace is about creating spaces that serve people and meet their needs, contributing to productivity, community, and brand communication.
  • There is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to define how people work, and organizations are challenged to seize this opportunity.