Enterprise Asset Management systems came about as an extension of the Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) that arose in the 1980s. They were designed to replace manual maintenance systems, but also to fulfil a need to establish robust asset management procedures as the numbers of assets utilised by organisations grew. As technology boomed in the 1990s, so EAM solutions emerged. Suppliers and businesses realised that maintenance and asset management would be best served by being business-wide rather than handled on a departmental basis. EAM solutions enabled significant benefits through enterprise-wide asset management, affording a 360° view of the business and the increased control that this brings.
Initially successful in asset-heavy industries such as the power and transport sectors, industries where productivity and profitability were largely dependent on the effectiveness and reliability of their physical assets, other sectors soon saw how they too could benefit from having an effective EAM solution in place. As technology developed, so the amount of assets employed by businesses increased. Soon, businesses realised that manual, paper-based systems simply weren’t delivering the competitive advantage that they needed.