For an organization to make more informed and appropriate business decisions, it needs to use the information and data it already has more effectively. This, combined with partners, solutions and tools that enhance that existing data, allows a business to more effectively make positive adjustments to meet changing situations.

In many industries, this ability to be agile by making day-to-day and long-range business decisions through the utilization of data can mean the difference between success and failure. Sound asset management systems, data and processes allow an organization to make informed business decisions about real-time issues and asset health, like system operational adjustments, and strategic priorities such as the allocation of capital budgets, to maintain business continuity.

Asset Management Approaches

Many of an organization’s critical business decisions can be divided into two main lanes:

Operational and strategic asset management approaches

Operational asset management needs represent real-time or near-real-time operations and reliability issues. This can include just-in-time maintenance, condition-based maintenance, root cause analysis and more.

These measures contribute to the day-in, day-out efficiency of a site and the overall organization, as well as to the optimization of maintenance spends at sites to meet the overall short-term needs and requirements of the organization. Often, organizations have a great number of activities and initiatives in process regarding smart manufacturing, industry 4.0 and smart buildings to address the operational asset management needs of the business. A realistic and actionable road map for enhancements in an organization’s operational asset management processes — combined with a dedicated operational analytics partner and business intelligence solutions — can provide an organization with significant improvements in its day-to-day operations and business.

Strategic asset management looks at long-range business needs and strategies to identify items such as potential asset replacement, major rehabilitation or capital investment needs.

A common issue faced by many organizations is that all the data and initiatives designed to address its operational asset management needs often are not aligned with or able to support the organization’s strategic asset management needs. The result is that major strategic business decisions — such as the investment of millions of capital investment dollars — are made in a vacuum of spreadsheets, emails, squeaky wheels and overall gut feelings.

Not surprisingly, this leads to capital investment plans that are either allocating critical money to the wrong areas of the organization or a reactive situation in which the plan is nearly nonexistent, meaning that each time a major asset health issue or asset failure arises, the organization is forced to scramble to find the money to maintain business continuity.

A Strategic Solution

Strategic asset management should utilize the best available data from a quantitative asset management tool and other systems to help an organization make strategic decisions. The strategic asset management function must have a connection to the native data sources and/or the operational asset management processes and tools. In this way, the organization’s strategic decision-makers can be provided with an aggregated picture of data and systems to assist in making fact-based critical strategic business decisions.


AssetLens, a data-driven software solution, can provide an organization with a tool to do just that, creating a straight path to quick and effective strategic business decisions. With a turnkey, cloud-based platform, stakeholders have the tools to make effective choices for capital budgets with no added overhead.

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Bryan Claxton is a senior product manager for software solutions at 1898 & Co., part of Burns & McDonnell. He has more than 20 years of experience as a technology consultant across a range of industries, specializing in providing asset management, information technology (IT) and geographic information systems (GIS) services and solutions for multiple clients. Bryan has experience managing and working on IT/GIS projects involving a wide range of services, including system planning and implementation and support for 1898 & Co. and third-party desktop, web and mobile-based solutions for clients of all sizes. He has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University.