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Lee Sands examines how asset managers can add real value to their organisations with a cloud asset management solution in place.

According to a recent Gartner report, by 2020, 50% of all new Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) deployments will be in the cloud.

Traditionally, hosted and cloud-based solutions have been slow to take off. Cloud computing offers the potential to transform your technology ecosystem, however, organisations need to consider a number of things to determine whether a cloud asset management solution will fit with their future plans and strategies.

Asset intensive organisations have always had large IT departments to support their on-premise installations, but with cloud-based solutions offering businesses the chance to reduce the total cost of ownership, it’s no surprise that so many organisations are making the switch. Asset managers are moving away from the traditional approach where software is purchased, installed and managed by departments within the organisation, and are beginning to investigate solutions which allow them to take ownership for their data only.

In each industry we see disruptors proving that ownership is no longer a prerequisite to success or control; the largest taxi firm which owns no vehicles, the largest accommodation provider which owns no properties, and the fastest growing television company that lays no cables. Increasingly, the consumer market is trusting cloud technology to simplify mundane tasks in order to save them time and money. This changing consumer landscape has already carried over to the business world, and many asset managers are looking to cloud asset management solutions, or Software as a Service (SaaS) arrangements in order to focus their efforts.

The Benefits of Cloud Asset Management Solutions

The benefits of cloud asset management solutions are clear; there is no outward cost for hardware or services related to maintaining the hardware, and no need to consider additional software or security costs. The potential benefits could be even further reaching – if organisations choose to utilise SaaS arrangements, they gain the potential for upgrades to be applied automatically to the latest versions. Deploying an asset management solution using SaaS arrangements is ideal for organisations that would like to take advantage of robust EAM solutions without implementation risks and high upfront costs. SaaS negates the need to wait years for an upgrade, or for a large implementation project to be negotiated. This seamless movement through software versions will ultimately reduce the overall training requirement for your employees, and provide instant access to make use of the new functionality.

By eliminating the up-front capital expenditure, and reducing the need for long implementation projects and associated planned upgrades, you can reduce IT staff burdens and increase business agility through increased mobility for technical support and services. A cloud asset management solution will help organisations move toward world-class operational effectiveness, maximising asset performance without breaking their budgets.

But, Is My Data Really Secure?

One of the biggest concerns facing asset managers about their switch to cloud-based technology is how safe their data really is. Finding a trusted global web service partner, such as Amazon Web Services, who can secure your data and impose disaster recovery processes will make the transition easier. Leaving your data security in the hands of a global organisation which is constantly innovating can take your business to a world-class level of IT, all without additional strain on your internal resources. For small and medium sized organisations, this makes cloud asset management solutions more accessible than ever before.

The Future of Cloud Asset Management Solutions

The asset management community have long been pioneers in the use of technology, from embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) through remote monitoring of equipment years before its widespread phenomenon, to looking at the practical application of using drones for inspection management. Why should the adoption of cloud-based technology be any different?

In many cases, access to a reliable internet connection has hindered progress. The remote location of plants and operational centres means they are slow to adopt cloud asset management solutions because it’s simply too much risk to trust an intermittent solution. However, as technology has progressed, so has internet connectivity and bandwidth. Internet is now considered to be the fourth utility, and with bandwidth continually improving, cloud technologies are within reach. Industries in this space are seeing a rise in mobile technology which enables operatives to work in an offline manner; further incentivising the switch to cloud asset management software.

Anyone involved in running or implementing asset management solutions is aware that the system is rarely standalone, and integration to other core business solutions including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can often hinder progress. Managing your assets in the cloud doesn’t mean the rest of the business needs to adopt cloud-based solutions; in many organisations, adopting a cloud asset management solution could be a stepping stone into the world of cloud technology. If you have a number of legacy systems based on-premise, you don’t need to compromise anymore. There is technology available to allow integrations to any number of systems, with any number of integration methods. Such integrations are simple to administer, and provide businesses with the ability to take a slower, phased approach.

In order to remain competitive and at the forefront of their sectors, asset intensive organisations need to evolve to maximise opportunities and tackle new challenges.

Take your business to the next level and make use of technological advances as they happen, rather than waiting for upgrades or capital projects to be approved. Empower your IT team and allow them to spend their time managing the integration of cloud services and solutions, rather than applications on internal infrastructure.

The time to consider cloud asset management software is now.

 What to look for in a cloud asset management solution:

  1. Industry experience is a major bonus. Working with a partner with a successful track record in implementing EAM solutions for similar businesses to yours will help a great deal.
  2. For ultimate control and visibility, mobile capability should come as standard.
  3. Don’t go with a finite solution. Flexible, scalable technology will evolve alongside your business rather than hold you back.
  4. For maximum user up-take and buy-in, the system must be easy to use. Try not to add another level of complexity to your organisation.
  5. Choose the appropriate size of solution for your size of business. What works for huge multinationals or smaller businesses won’t necessarily work for you.

If you would like to learn more or see our cloud assess management solution in action, contact us today.

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