Today’s infrastructures are operating in a whole new playground. Not only is more money being spent on adding, improving and maintaining equipment, but emerging trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices have opened all possible floodgates of intel. The result? Record-breaking amounts of infrastructure data and new questions about how to capture, analyze and harness it.
Snapshot of Modern Infrastructure
- Over the past decade, investment in overhead poles, wires, devices and fixtures such as sensors, relays and circuits has risen by 69%. — S. Energy Information Administration
- The utilities space is expected to spend over $60 billion on IoT solutions in 2019. — IDC
- Over 80% of utility companies admit to having “data challenges.” — Deloitte
So, what does this mean? It means that decision makers at every level of the organization need the visibility, data and insight to be able to participate in infrastructure enhancements—all without breaking the bank for analytics technology that could be hard to justify to stakeholders.
Basically, these decision makers need a “modern” asset performance management (APM) platform.
Breaking Down Modern Asset Management
Above all, utilities providers and industrial plants of all sizes want asset management and advanced analytics technology that’s affordable, accessible and reliable. We’re talking about powerful enterprise-level solutions that scale. This demand creates the perfect opportunity for a solution like the public cloud to be effective.
Through providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, the public cloud has helped democratize the robust, scalable technology that fuels modern asset management and analytics. Rather than shelling out to develop and maintain proprietary solutions, stakeholders can invest in reliable technology that is as scalable as it needs it to be. AWS even offers an Industrial IoT toolbox that equips teams to remotely monitor infrastructure and apply machine learning techniques out of the box.
The point here is that the public cloud is built to provide the exact type of scalable, flexible, always-on capabilities required of an APM solution, which is why the public cloud should be the foundation of any modern platform.
There are certain “ingredients” that make up any APM platform. These are elements like cybersecurity models and tools for data transformation and structuring, which are building blocks of a platform’s analytical experience. There are ingredients essential to user experience—think tools that enable data presentation and analysis. Then there are the binding ingredients that tie these two experiences together—the asset models that manage and contain the mathematics between assets and data, workflow tools that stich data to issues to actions, and AI that enables system performance to evolve over time and usage.
How all of these ingredients interact with each other can enhance or restrict the functionality of the platform. Think about Frankenstein’s Monster, where limbs from here and appendages from there are bolted together to create a frightening hodgepodge of a being. It’s no wonder this guy was never an elite gymnast.
APM platforms are no different. If the ingredients dictating user and analytical experiences aren’t constructed in a way that enables them to combine and interrelate seamlessly, the solution will be less flexible, analytics will be siloed, user experiences will be unfortunately limited, and visibility will be blocked. What results is a Frankenstein’s Monster of an APM platform, where new ingredients have to be “bolted on” as needed every time new objectives arise, costing money and delaying deployments.
Flexible ingredients are only as effective as their ability to be reused and recombined for different applications. This is where the concept of recombinant innovation is essential to the performance of modern asset management. Why? Because the modern platform needs to deliver a variety of applications—apps that enable real-time monitoring and diagnostics, help forecast performance and spending, and that support activity management and more. In a perfect world, the same ingredients are used to create these applications—they’re just mixed together in different ways.
What we’ve just described is a highly flexible platform, built in the public cloud, that leverages the concept of recombinant innovation to deliver a variety of applications for asset management and advanced analytics. That’s a mouthful. You can see what these ideas look like in action by exploring ASSET360, our cloud-based data analytics platform that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of operations and planning for complex and distributed assets. The platform is built to meet the needs of modern infrastructure—today and into the future.