I’ve written about how “sticker shock” is one of the barriers preventing small- and mid-sized organizations from investing in asset performance management (APM). It’s true, in some cases APM providers have outpriced the small- and mid-sized enterprise (SME) with complex, highly consultative deployments that eat up months of operational cycles. But these cases aren’t the be-all, end-all. Many affordable, solutions have been spoiled by the perception that APM is always costly and cumbersome. As a result, SMEs continue to “make do” with asset management and analytics tools that are outdated and insufficient, unaware of the benefits of an APM solution that can fit their budget requirements and scale to their needs.
In this blog post, I’d like to set the record straight. Here are three reasons why SMEs must consider APM:
It’s more cost-effective than you think.
For SMEs, the right APM provider will buck the perception that APM deployments are costly and complex. In a small sub-section of the marketplace, there’s been a move among providers to “democratize” APM technology, creating commercialized, off-the-shelf solution offerings that can be implemented in weeks and can scale into the future. These commercialized solutions have lowered the cost of implementation dramatically, making APM affordable.
Beyond affordability, the right APM solution will deliver greater returns over the long haul because it’s priced according to values that the customer establishes. Many of these commercialized solutions are priced based on metrics specific to your operation—think gallons of water pumped or amount of power generated. This pricing structure ensures customers only pay for results that are valuable to them, as opposed to paying a lump sum for X-number of sensors across however many assets.
You gain a better understanding of your assets and infrastructure.
In my opinion, the cost-effectiveness of APM gets a lot more impressive when considering the amount of intel it provides. APM capabilities like condition-based monitoring, predictive analytics, machine learning, AI and scenario modelling are a few of the capabilities often provided in an an APM solution. Not only do these components deliver valuable insight into asset performance, they also create an unprecedented visibility of relationships between different asset classes. For example, perhaps a water pump’s efficiency has decreased steadily over the course of a week. In the past, the tendency might have been for an engineer to only troubleshoot the pump. Today, with the different components integrated into an APM solution, teams can now evaluate the system around associated with the pump, enabling them to identify upstream or downstream issues that may be impacting efficiency and performance. As a result, organizations gain a better understanding of their infrastructure and the relationships between different asset classes, which leads to smarter, more proactive decision making.
You’ll see greater ROI over the long haul.
The more organizations know about their infrastructure, the more efficiently they can manage it. That’s a fundamental principle of APM. By having greater visibility into dimensions that are important for preventing failures, optimizing performance, troubleshooting issues and forecasting risks, organizations can make smarter use of their time and resources. For this reason, commercialized APM solutions should be tremendously attractive to SMEs.
There’s never been a better time for SMEs to consider (or reconsider) APM. The benefits are astounding, and, with the fresh influx of commercialized solutions, the technology is more affordable and accessible than ever. Time will tell how the APM market evolves, but right now I’m seeing a major chance for SMEs to seize a massive opportunity that hasn’t even reached its infancy.
Interested in learning whether your organization is ready to benefit from APM technology trends? Listen to a webinar led by our own Andrew Atteberry.