As the title suggests, this blog will examine the trends that will shape the future of enterprise asset management going forward. Before we do that, it would be instructive to take a step back and understand how the workplace has evolved over the years, which will help us gaze into the future with the correct perspective.
How has EAM changed over time?
The initial decades of industrialization began with large factories and warehouses where most of the employees were engaged in physical labor. There was little or no computerization, which later evolved to a few workstations that were used for overall monitoring or maintenance of the workflows.
This soon changed as the extent of physical work reduced and the white-collar worker emerged to the forefront. With more machines and devices being used than the number of people manning them, it became important to keep track of these assets and maintain them in the correct running condition. Also, everything that was part of the work landscape of an organization, whether it was heavy machinery or a desktop computer came to be referred to as a digitally defined asset.
With the number of such assets increasing and organizations working from multiple locations, enterprise asset management (EAM) came to define the umbrella term that was used to track the inventory of such assets and keep them in the right working condition. The EAM setup also kept track of other operational issues like an inventory of spares, warranty calendars, and also forecasting of purchase requirements based on previous usage.
Trends that would define Enterprise Asset Management
Let us now look at how the world of enterprise asset management is predicted to evolve in the coming years. Some of the trends below would occur together, while some others would be exclusive of each other, we can only make an educated guess.
- The world is changing with the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things. Another development is the increased use of augmented reality for work and entertainment. These will add an edge to the forecasting abilities of EXAM for hardware updates, new purchases, or even predicted failures.
- EAM has been used more for ensuring the timely maintenance of devices. In the years to come, this is expected to move towards overall monitoring of present and future performance. Some experts have begun to refer to this as Asset Performance Management (APM).
- Apart from contributing to efficiency and productivity only, EAM will be used more and more for cost rationalization by preventing major breakdowns and ensuring timely forecasting of purchases of assets and spares.
- Cloud technology has changed the frequency and needs for on-premise deployment of hardware and even software. EAM will also move to a software-as-a-service model instead of being deployed at the workplaces of the organization.
- In the past, the management of devices was often department-specific, and it gradually moved on to enterprise-wide deployment. In the future, equipment will become increasingly complex, requiring more maintenance to be outsourced (using IIoT) to the OEM or a service organization specializing in that type of device.
- In most spheres of our life, we have seen how the use of mobile devices has become increasingly pervasive. The deployment and use of enterprise asset management will also do away with physical work orders, enabling seamless work through mobile devices used by an employee.
Why now is the best time for companies to adopt EAM
As the above trends show, the use of newer technology is making EAM cover more depth and breadth in its use and application. This will make TEAM more useful, but will also require more involvement of the organization in its implementation. Going forward, the adoption of EAM across an enterprise will become even more difficult.
Also, if an organization has not adopted EAM yet, it is already missing out on the benefits that accrue from EAM. Organizations that adopt EAM now would become more efficient and save more costs, as explained above.
Third, the two years of the pandemic have demonstrated that hybrid work is something that employees and organizations have both embraced for good. This will need increased maintenance of devices remotely, for which TEAM is a very important tool for organizations.
These are a few reasons why EAM needs to be adopted at the earliest, if not already done.
Enterprise asset management has come a long way and developed into a very potent tool for enterprises that need to sharpen their operational excellence. Ideally, every company which deals with a large number of devices, very heavy machinery, and is spread around multiple locations, should already have adopted EAM by now. Even if that has not happened, this is the time when TEAM is undergoing several improvements which will be commonly available in the years to come. Any organization which wishes to make the best use of EAM needs to adopt it as soon as it can.