Released in December 2023, the IFS Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Trend Report offers a comprehensive analysis of the industry’s present landscape while exploring its challenges and opportunities. The report is a result of extensive market research and insights from 430 asset managers across various industries.
Here are the highlights from the IFS EAM Trend Report:
Enhancing efficiency and decision-making
Asset Performance Management (APM) is designed to enhance the health and performance of crucial assets as it allows organizations to monitor, maintain, and optimize the performance of their assets. When asked about their ability to monitor asset health and performance, over half of respondents voted positively (54%) yet 38% of asset managers responded negatively, stating that they do not have access to such data. Interestingly, over 50% of respondents indicated that the importance of data analytics and predictive modelling in optimizing asset management decisions is either very or somewhat important, showing that even though some individuals lack access to the data they believe that having it would be beneficial in optimizing asset management decisions. Furthermore, Asset Performance Management (APM) is on the rise as 57% of asset managers expressed keen interest in exploring the potential of APM technologies to enhance the health and performance of their vital assets.
Emerging technologies are presenting new opportunities for organizations. Companies can improve efficiency and make better decisions, giving them a competitive advantage. Respondents reported that they expect Internet of Things (IoT) sensors (55%), Predictive Modeling (54%), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) (36%) will be the top 3 emerging technologies to have a positive impact on their maintenance and business practices. Furthermore, 21% of respondents reported that adopting emerging technologies is a focus topic for their organizations over the next 12 months.
However, even though there is an importance in adopting these technologies, there are some obstacles that stand in the way. Asset managers voted lack of expertise and investment and costs (54% respectively) as the most prominent obstacle, followed by a lack of integration into software systems (35%).
Additionally, when asked about future trends the aging workforce rated as the foremost trend expected to have the most significant impact on their company, followed by Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices and globalization.
By effectively managing assets – physical, financial, or intellectual – an organization can improve its overall performance and achieve its long-term goals. Having anAsset Management strategy will support the organization in achieving its strategic goals. Among all participating asset managers in the survey, 48% agree with this statement while 14% hold the opposite perspective. However, it is worth mentioning that the remaining 38% maintain a neutral position, reflecting a state of hesitation in a decisive direction. On the other hand, this also shows a significant potential for alignment between the asset management strategy and the strategic objectives of an organization in the future.
Looking ahead, the IFS EAM Trend Report highlights three key topics shaping the future. The survey reveals that 61% of asset managers will prioritize better use of reporting and analytics in the upcoming months. By having a comprehensive overview of assets’ health and performance and real-time data analysis, organizations can predict asset failure, avoid downtime, and improve their decision-making process. The increase in digitalization (44%) emerges as the secondary future focus for EAM, maintaining a consistent presence as a significant topic in this field. Even in recent years, organizations have shown their support for increasing digitalization in their workplace allowing better collaboration and interaction between teams. While having a skilled team remains vital for organizations, this emphasis extends to the third future focus point: investing in retaining or attracting suitable maintenance personnel (38%).
An organization’s current EAM level of maturity is expected to change in the future as well. Most of the surveyed organizations fall under the first three stages of the EAM Maturity Model:
- 15% follow a “Reactive” approach, using a corrective asset management structure but no professional software (Stage 1)
- 62% follow an “In control” approach, which involves a combination of corrective and preventive measures along with the use of professional software (Stage 2)
- 12% follow a “Proactive” approach, using condition-based maintenance and software for spare parts management and HSE compliance (Stage 3)
Image: The IFS EAM Maturity Model
However, the survey reflects a trend where essential functional capabilities will be integrated into current EAM systems. These capabilities, including incorporating predictive analytics and focusing on long-term asset planning/asset investment planning, signal a future shift in the EAM Maturity Model. Consequently, organizations will move towards “Smart” and “Ultimate” maintenance approaches.