Here at Itus Digital, the team is working hard to wrap up our initial product release scheduled to launch in 30 days and designed to support effective APM. We have spent the last ten months researching, designing, and coding the Itus Digital platform. Further, we have been extremely fortunate with the outpouring of support from experts in the Asset Performance Management (APM) community. They have worked with us to build a great product. We want to thank all of you for your time, use cases, and validation.
Where We Began
One of the core motivators we established when launching Itus Digital was to get back to our roots and build solutions through customer and market-driven innovation. We have not been disappointed! Your level of engagement, desire to enhance existing APM processes, and “ideation” have genuinely been invigorating. You provided the Itus team with great requirements for our initial product release and beyond. Looking back on the workshops, functional reviews, and discussions, several key themes have emerged. So we thought it would be helpful to share a few with everyone.
Theme #1 – Traditional Asset Performance Management is Too Hard.
APM requires a systematic method to integrate people, processes, and technologies. For many, this requirement represents a significant change in how engineering, maintenance, and operations functions work day to day. It is likely not new news to most who are reading this blog. What we uncovered when we asked “why it is so hard” will be. We were expecting answers centered around people or organizational change. And while these are still elements to manage, the responses focused on gaps in existing solutions. The notable concerns we discovered were:
- APM process definitions that are too broad or narrow and limit APM’s effectiveness,
- Software portfolios stitched together through acquisitions and are loosely integrated, hard-to-use, and challenging to maintain,
- Implementation approaches centered on enterprise-wide, “big bang” deployment models that are risky, difficult, and costly.
Theme #2 – The Asset Strategy is (Still) the Critical Value Driver.
Over the past years, the buzz and energy in the APM space have focused on emerging computing technologies. These technologies consist of various mathematical algorithms and 3D visualizations. They serve to enhance asset performance. However, to drive recognizable business value, these technologies need to anchor to robust asset strategies. As we worked with APM experts, they reminded us that success depends on defining, managing, and governing asset strategies. The industry has indeed made great strides in defining those strategies using RCM, FMEA, RBI, and HAZOP methodologies. But, it still leaves you struggling with strategy implementation and governance across your asset population. Simply put, the ability to assess critical assets, define how they fail, determine mitigations, actively manage emerging threats, and document remediations are the foundation for everything else.
Theme #3 – Enable the Equipment Experts.
If you agree with Theme #2, you will probably agree that enabling the equipment and operations experts is another critical element for APM success. After all, an asset strategy is the domain expertise curated to an applied structure and process that you can scale across asset populations. As we worked on our initial product requirements, the COVID19 pandemic forced us all to adjust to a new normal. Further, it pushed several industries into curtailing production, which unfortunately led to the loss of experienced workers and critical equipment knowledge. In addition, many had and still have essential worker protocols that limit site personnel and create a “virtual gap” between the front line and back-office workers.
These new dynamics have further exposed weaknesses in how front-line operators and engineering teams manage assets, share knowledge, collaborate on best practices, and optimize strategies. The feedback here was clear. APM solutions must focus on enabling the equipment and operations experts and capturing their unique equipment knowledge in asset strategies. Ease of use, accessibility from anywhere, collaboration, and documentation of learnings in a structured manner which are easy to leverage, have become essential success factors in Asset Performance Management.
Reflecting on the last ten months, we are fortunate to have a network and community willing to engage and share their expertise. Their generosity has shaped our initial product release and future innovations. Not only have we thoroughly enjoyed innovating with the market again, we successfully validated one of our core beliefs when we founded Itus Digital. APM is much more difficult and complex than it needs to be, and we can fix that! Thanks again to everyone who participated.
To Learn More
If you would like to see some feedback on our pre-release product, follow the link below to see what David Metcalfe, CEO at Verdantix, has to say. You can also reach out directly to me – firstname.lastname@example.org and I can show you what is coming on September 30th!