Digitalization of Asset Management [What Does That Even Mean?]

Visualization of digitalization

You’ve heard of digitization and digital transformation, but what the heck is digitalization? It’s likely that you have been using digitization and digital transformation to describe digitalization all along without even realizing it.

Let’s take a second to break it down:

Digitization can be defined as creating digital versions of previously analog or physical items.  An example would be creating a digital work order that was previously a paper work order. This is really the beginning step for an asset management company to go digital.

Digitalization on the other hand, is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new ways and opportunities of doing business; For example, utilizing data from the digital work order you produced via digitization to improve current business processes.  Digitalization is essentially a transformation within a company that utilizes digital technologies and data to improve the way things are done.

Digital transformation is a more holistic view, in that it not only focuses on digitizing and digitalizing but also focuses on how to implement these changes throughout an organization.  It engages the entire company and the people that make up the company, rather than just the processes and the data that are part of the company.

Unlike Digitization and Digital Transformation, Digitalization focuses solely on how ‘going digital’ improves or changes your business processes.  

So what does this mean for Asset Management?

Asset Management, at its core, is about keeping the asset running to maximize output and minimize the costs associated with downtime and repairs.

Obviously, it’s not as simple as that and there are many different variables that go into asset management such as scheduling, planning, budgeting, and so on and so forth, but at the end of the day, you want to maximize the output of every asset and minimize any losses incurred as a result of downtime, repairs, and replacements.

This is the purpose behind the Digitalization of Asset Management – to help transform current business processes to drive profitability.

Digitalization of Asset Management encompasses all elements of the asset management process including the scheduling of work, having ample supplies to complete work, identifying imminent failures, capturing accurate and timely data, and being able to analyze that data as it is computed, as well as down the road, to identify trends and behavioural patterns of the machines.

There are so many moving parts and so many different people that it is essential to be able to connect those parts and people in a centralized hub (or cloud).

Many asset-intensive organizations have outdated processes that make the above seem unattainable or at the very least – a massive undertaking.

While it’s no easy task, it is possible and the return on investment makes the undertaking worthwhile.

With that being said, companies are often being sucked into the question of “what can digitalization do for me and my company and how can it make us better?”

It’s important to take a step back and look at your business before you dive into the digital realm.

Rather than asking how digitalization will change your business, you should ask yourself what changes need to be made to your business, and how digitalization can get you there.