As infrastructure owners shift their focus from buying new assets to maximizing the performance of the assets they already own, the need for more sophisticated asset management has risen up the agenda.
Over the coming year (and more), we expect to see owners and operators start to become more sophisticated stewards of their assets.
In part, this is because owners are keen not only to achieve the full expected lifespans of their assets, but also to get more productivity out of their existing operations. The achievement of peak operational efficiency, the better management of demand and capacity, the reduction of maintenance costs and the delivery of improved customer service will enable owners to gain access to the full potential of their investments.
Advances in technology and data/analytics are also adding to the sophistication of asset management. No longer must decisions be made on ‘rules of thumb’; today’s available technology allows asset managers to carefully monitor their assets in real time and, in doing so, improve decision making, manage capacity and maximize efficiency. And, in the longer-term, the increased use of predictive data/analytics will shift the focus from reactive to proactive maintenance.
In 2016, we believe that asset management will start to become a key discipline for asset owners, enabled by smart technologies, more sophisticated approaches and greater insight into the actual operations and performance of their assets.
Given the pace of advancement in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and data/analytics, it seems clear that technological advances will continue to drive efficiency in infrastructure operations and should lead to better productivity, longer asset lives, fewer catastrophic failures and improved safety. In this environment, owners will need an ever-more sophisticated approach that combines technology, data/analytics and asset management. They will also need to consider the impact that this shift will have on their existing labor force: operating infrastructure in the new world will almost certainly require less hands and fewer eyeballs.