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CMMS is the Industrial Sector’s Greatest Ally amid IIoT-induced Organizational Change

CMMS is the industrial sector's greatest ally

Here are just a few ways industrial reorganization in the advent of the IIoT couldn't stay afloat without CMMS.

As the Industrial Internet of Things builds up momentum like a tidal wave churning out at sea and rocketing toward the coast, asset-intensive businesses must figure out if they’re ready to surf into the sunset of success or drown under this cataclysmic tsunami of new technology, boundless wireless interoperability and billions upon billions of gigabytes of information.

Whether companies sink or swim depends greatly on the platforms they utilize to centralize, manipulate and visualize their data droplets in the IIoT ocean. Businesses will undoubtedly reorganize internally, either in reaction to the IIoT or in preparation for it touching down. Staying ahead of the change increases the chances a business can leverage innovative tech early and compete, so long as it survives the initial disruptive splash.

Let computerized maintenance management systems and enterprise asset management solutions be your surfboard in tricky waters. Here are just a few ways industrial reorganization in the advent of the IIoT couldn’t stay afloat without CMMS or EAM.

Asset preservation, acquisition and divestment

Thanks to the IIoT, a lot of industrial equipment is poised to change hands. In fact, much already has –  according to a study from the World Economic Forum, shipments of sensors throughout the world grew more than fivefold between 2012 and 2014.

An influx of sensors, telemetry and other remote monitoring devices of this magnitude will transform the ways asset-intensive businesses perceive value in their most vital production and service equipment and relate that value to other organizations in their industries.

"Sensors are only as good as the platforms they report data to."

For starters, when technicians equip an industrial asset with IIoT sensors capable of detecting minute variations in temperature and vibration, they essentially enhance the lifecycle of said asset by making it easier to determine operational deficiencies and preempt failure. In turn, this preserves uptime and ancillary operations as much as it does the gears and sprockets. However, sensors are only as good as the platforms they report their data to, as well as the ability of that program to condition and visualize that data effectively to operators, managers or the C-suite executives – more on that later.

Second, unlike a discount off-brand toaster bought from a local kitchenwares depot, large-scale industrial assets typically have long, storied histories with their owners. Comprehensive performance and maintenance documentation, therefore, become bargaining chips for acquiring and divesting assets as the IIoT accelerates the already rapid exchange of technology. Soon, exhaustive asset recordkeeping will be the new norm, without which no business can expect to get a sizeable return on sold assets or purchase new assets intelligently.

CMMS platforms like IBM Maximo or Infor EAM software provide potential investors with the specs on the exact nature of all historical failures or deficiencies. They also complement those figures with the precise maintenance performed to correct the problem and, in turn, how successful the repairs were.

Strategizing across multiple hierarchies

Very few industrial businesses, if any, conduct business outside of this operational paradigm: Machine operators concern themselves with the detailed day-to-day processes while executive focus on the “bigger picture” by aggregating data, analyzing it and gleaning intelligence from it to steer their organizations in new directions.

"Harnessing managerial worth from data can’t be done without the proper conversion resources."

That’s no longer the complete story. Data acquisition and analytics have grown more intuitive and automated in recent years, fueled primarily by the sheer volume of information available for businesses to soak up. Harnessing managerial worth from data is like generating energy from coal – not a particularly eco-friendly analogy, but follow us here. It simply can’t be done without the proper conversion resources.

If a coal-fired power plant lacks the equipment and processes needed to produce electricity from its coal, all it has is a pile of dirty, expensive rocks growing by the day. Likewise, if an asset-intensive business lacks the resources to condition wealths of raw data into easily digestible dashboards and visualizations, the C-suite won’t be able to separate actionable intelligence from the white noise. After drawing data into its stores, CMMS platforms, in a sense, make this information more tactile and malleable so organizations can learn more about the data sets that relate to specific objectives on their dockets.

And what of manual data input? Surely automated data acquisition from remote monitoring technology and other IIoT devices will open up and, in a sense, self-manage their own data streams. But how can operators, maintenance technicians and other asset-related professionals tap into these streams to inject worthwhile information into the mix and run it all up the flagpole, so to speak?

Technological advancement works thusly: Once you traverse the horizon line, a new cusp appears ahead of you. As such, businesses will always find themselves relying on ad hoc processes to a certain degree in the interim between recent innovations and the next big thing. Highly versatile and adaptable CMMS and other EAM solutions welcome the formlessness of ad hoc with open arms, allowing businesses to constantly incorporate changes into their operations without upending their efficiency, all while ensuring those at the top of the ladder receive input from every corner of their companies.

The IIoT represents a major change to how the industrial sector does business, and as companies reshape their structures to make room for the anticipated technological surge, the organizational power of CMMS and EAM solutions guarantee a smooth transition – or, at the very least, confidence in the face of total disruption.

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