The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), smart connected assets and digital transformation have been top themes for just short of two years. Organizations often view them as distinct focus areas, perhaps unwisely so. The asset is at the heart of each of these topics, making them inextricably related. Businesses that come to that realization position themselves for more pragmatic choices about technology architecture, empowering the workforce and business processes.
Because the asset is at the root of each, asset performance management (APM) is a prime target to lay the foundation for sweeping transformational efforts throughout the enterprise. LNS Research has studied the market and marked the success of organizations that have used APM as an entry point for digital transformation. Companies that follow in their footsteps can expect better asset reliability, longer asset life, lower decommissioning and disposal costs and, as a result, lower operating costs. They also gain competitive advantage—not just in cost structure, but also in greater uptime and availability, better on-time delivery and higher quality.
With so much to gain, why then do operations leaders face resistance and downright opposition when making overtures toward APM project or technology pilots? According to surveys conducted by LNS Research, the top three roadblocks are funding for projects, building a business case and understanding IIoT. There is a direct correlation between these three barriers—insight that hopeful or enlightened operations executives can exploit to advance their project.
Armed with the knowledge of what’s standing in the way of an APM project, what steps can organizations take to build the business case and get the funding? A good strategy is to start small with a pilot project. Small wins provide the opportunity to learn about the capabilities the market offers and proof points to illustrate value and help build a business case. As pilot projects take hold in a variety of industries, no one industry has the lead. Still, use cases are now emerging, and they also provide ammunition for expansion across more asset bases or different parts of the business.