We find ourselves in a world where data (and hence methods of collating and storing data) is or is on the verge of becoming, the foundation in all areas in which we operate. Whether we like it or not, we are moving to space where we trace routes through data and build knowledge and solutions out of it. This thirst for knowledge, and expectation that the knowledge is ‘real-time’ and immediate has driven an explosion of technological enhancement, including the infrastructure to support and power it. In the context of Asset Management, however, we must guard against being submerged in noise.
Techniques, technologies, and applications appear everywhere we turn: digital transformation, Internet of Things (IoT),artificial intelligence, digital twins, real-time data, remote monitoring, augmented intelligence, virtual reality, algorithmic analysis, laser scanning and point clouds, Building Information Modeling (BIM)- for the full asset life cycle from inception and design phase through to asset disposal - mobile data collection, predictive analytics, and 3D modeling, to name a few.
We are being inundated with these new technologies on a daily basis, in industry journals, attending annual industry conferences or CPD events, in discussions with clients and colleagues, and on social media. To some, it will be exciting, invigorating and required, whilst to others it will be overwhelming and confusing.
These techniques, technologies, and applications are here to stay and will be developed and expanded. They can undoubtedly provide effective solutions and subsequent increased value to an organization in its pursuit of delivering effective asset management. The purpose of utilizing more developed technologies is to support the asset management planning function, which is to clearly explain what the organization plans to do with its assets with respect to the acquisition, maintenance, operation and disposal, and what level of service will be delivered as a result of these activities.