Digitizing the Asset Economy

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Today, we all live and work in a new era, the Internet Century, where technologies are transforming the business landscape and the pace of change is accelerating.

This creates a unique challenge for all business leaders. 
A recent research by General Electric estimates that utilities will spend almost $50 billion on asset management and monitoring technologies by 2025. Three powerful trends have converged to fundamentally shift asset management – firstly the internet itself – practically everything is online. Second, mobile devices and networks have made continuous connectivity widely available. And third, cloud computing has put practically infinite computing power and storage and host of sophisticated tools and applications at businesses disposal.
The convergence of these three technological waves have made the impossible possible. Taking a flight somewhere? On the day of your departure, your phone will remind you when to leave the airport, tell you the gate number from which the flights departs. Hear a song you like? Hold your phone, tap a button, identify the song, buy it and list to it on any device. Want to skydive? You can virtually take a sky dive or experience many of world’s greatest museums – thanks to virtual reality.
Applying technology platform and applications in Asset Management.
Now imagine a maintenance engineer using a smart helmet fitted with sensors and HoloLens, being able to carry out intrusive maintenance of a mechanical pump with all 3D assembly and repair instructions available straight into his eyes. A mobile device is allowing him to know the availability of a critical spare and ability to order it real time.
Imagine a safety operator in the nuclear industry being trained on dealing with hazardous materials using VR  or a railway operator conducing safety inspection of signalling assets or a water operations worker getting cross skilled using VR in maintaining mechanical and electrical assets. The list is endless.
Jet engines are some of the most complex technologies on the planet. They’re so difficult to make, in fact, the companies that build aircraft don’t make their own engines. General Electric or GE is re-imagining the jet engines technology that hasn’t had an upgrade for the last 50 years. And that includes keeping records of a “digital twin” of each jet engine GE makes, so that they can keep tabs on its performance on the ground — while the aeroplane in the air. GE is beginning to 3D print some of the parts that go into its engine. Engineers are designing a “digital twin” of every engine they are building.
During the design and manufacturing phase of the engine, engineers compile thousands of data points specific to each engine, which they are using to build a digital model. This allows them to know exactly how hot that engine should be in each of its modules, what the pressure should be, and how fast the airflow should be moving. Using the new platform, GE Aviation alone analysed 340TB of data from 3.4 million flights on 25 airlines to improve asset performance and minimise disruptions.
We are moving from paper-based working, time-based asset renewals and a ‘find and fix’ approach to asset management to a proactive digitally-enabled ‘predict and prevent’. This requires insight into how different assets work and perform together as an asset solution, along with historical condition and work-bank data that enables reliable analytical predictions to be made.
What is driving change in Asset Management to move to Digital?
1. Asset Bytes!
Technology has undoubtedly changed at an increasing pace over the past few years. A digitally connected workforce, driving insights from assets, use of artificial intelligence and robotics are few advancements which are changing the way organisations need to approach their asset management delivery. With utility industry traditionally trailing behind other industries in adoption of new technology and constrained by an aging infrastructure and legacy systems, an innovative and outcome driven approach to technology transformation will be required to instil confidence in utilities companies to rightfully make investments into ‘digital’.
2. Multiple Versions of Truth – Data
From design to decommissioning, industrial asset managers are challenged to make critical decisions across asset lifecycles. They’re expected to tread a fine balance between safety, regulatory compliance, production efficiencies, budgetary constraints, and market pressures. In reality, they struggle to obtain a single instance of asset information from a patchwork of software. The result is bad, delayed, or ineffective decision-making, often leading to expensive project delays, industrial accidents, and penalties. Lower risks and costs can be achieved when decisions are based on trusted asset information. A fundamental digital change is required to establish a true digital identity of industrial assets.
3. Beyond Operational Excellence 
Starting asset excellence journey from operational excellence is the right thing to do – it will provide you with standardisation, performance management, behaviours and cultural change. While applying and sustaining operational excellence in asset management can provide you with 15 – 20% of efficiency, with convergence of internet, mobile and cloud computing, asset digital transformation could give companies an uplift of 40–45% of efficiency gain and market competitiveness.
What does Asset Management of the Future would look like?
1. Disruptive Technology
While no one can foresee every disruptive technology, even on a 5-10 year horizon, over the next 5-10 years, we anticipate the advances of disruptive technologies such as IoT and data analytics.   We anticipate a number of key trends in asset management that will underpin this evolution:
• More connected assets – given the increasing commoditisation of sensors and more intelligent OT , there will be an increase in the number of assets that are connected to the network.  In an IoT analytics report, it is estimated that in the next 5 years there will be around 25 billion newly connected devices.
• Data growth and correlation – coupled with the proliferation of connected assets is the exponential growth in data.  There will be an increasing requirement to store and manage data in greater volumes than before.  Additionally, by gathering data from previously disparate sources, there will be more opportunity to correlate data points and drive richer insights than previously possible.
• Platform proliferation – being able to successfully manage IT/OT  integration will require a robust platform and, aligned with the growth of IoT, the platform market is expected to grow considerably, which will require careful consideration in the selection of the best platform to deliver IT/OT integration
• Predictive analytics and visualisation – with more data, comes more opportunity to deliver analytic insight that takes out cost.  We believe that the next 5-10 years will see analytics play an increasingly important role, strengthened by richer data visualisation capabilities.
• Security – with the increasing proliferation of data, cloud-based solutions and more assets connected to the network, security will play an increasingly important role.  As such Cybersecurity will require increasing attention to ensure a secure IT/OT integration.
• Shifting operating model –  we believe that the very nature of IT/OT integration will see a shift in the operating model of organisations, as the lines between IT and operations become increasingly blurred.
2. Digital Workforce
Capgemini sees the development over the next 5-10 years of a truly connected workforce that will have real time access to knowledge and information about critical assets.
Workforce scheduling will be more dynamic and intelligent, taking feeds from analytics engines and predictive asset behaviour models to get engineers to the issues ahead of failure or customer impact.  We envisage a world where an engineer will be equipped with technology that provides a highly connected experience that can utilise live data feeds into wearable or mobile technology, use augmented reality to render 3D models of assets for maintenance and then be instructed in how to carry out the work by a remote engineer seeing the work site through the use of streamed video.
3. Digital Capital Delivery
Increased use of 3D printing in Engineering / Construction Lifecycle models are being used to drive standardisation of assets and asset data throughout design-build-commission-operate lifecycle.  This sharing of data starts from asset design, requiring collaborative digital working across the supply chain and the framework partnerships multiple systems, right the way through to day to day asset operations.
This combined with machine learning technologies will enable a significant reduction in total cost to operate by better utilisation of assets, better maintenance regimes (e.g. by data-enabling predictive and prescriptive maintenance), and longer asset lifecycles as a result.
4. Digital Data and Analytics 
There will continue to be rapid innovation in the analytics platforms which will increasingly be combined with machine learning capabilities and operated in the cloud to deal with the volumes of data.
Increasingly, the analytics will be combined with widespread use of advanced visualisation capability including augmented reality as well as virtual reality. There will also be much better and more widespread use of “traditional” 3D rendering used both in design and also in operations. This in turn gives easy controllable access to standardised and reusable data across the entire operational asset base, combining standard asset configuration data, real time situational data (asset and customer generated), historic performance data, and environmental data. The visualisation of this data in real time using the capabilities described above will enable far better understand of operations and asset performance.
How Can Capgemini Help You Tackle the Asset Totex Challenge?
Capgemini has a direct experience of working with its client achieve digital transformation in Railways, Aviation and Water industry.
Our work at Network Rail on Linear Asser Decision System Capgemini addressed asset related Capex and Opex decision making by engineers. We designed and implemented a data aggregation and visualisation tool across a user base of around 1000 staff, with a visual layered view of multiple data sources providing root cause analysis. This enabled predictive analytics driven asset insights leading to decision making leading to Capex savings of £150M and Opex savings of £41M over 5 years.
At Heathrow Airport Limited, we built a Mobile workforce asset inspection application for airside assets inspection. Each-way integration with Maximo system allowed field force to report faults, provide status and manage asset data and feedback real time. Asset visualisation was provided through a geospatial map of assets/locations. The application allowed end-to-end traceability of fault reporting, status and resolution. The benefits of this was an enhanced asset reliability of airside asset through proactive inspection and data insights making paper based maintenance inspection records redundant.
Capgemini delivers the end-to-end Digital Asset Management solutions; from digital maturity assessment to defining the vision and strategy for asset management and delivering the organisational capabilities and underpinning technology, our unique specialism is in delivering business benefit by enabling better decision-making throughout the asset lifecycle and across the organisation – from senior management to engineers in the field.
Our approach is to Digital Asset Management focuses 4 key phases:
1. Maturity Assessment: This assessment can help you understand where your organisation stands on the journey to achieve digital asset excellence. We will assess your organisation’s position across three dimensions: digitised asset management practices, workforce digital mind-set, and data and tools capability.
2. Business Case and Roadmap: Explore opportunities in more detail, and develop a business case for implementing a platform for generating critical asset insights supported by an implementation roadmap.
3. Proof of Value and Prototyping: Test and expand the business case by using a snapshot of your data to estimate how much value you could get from deploying the platform. We will embed a proof-of-value by means of an appropriate technology and operating model, so better decisions are made in a consistent and sustainable manner.
4. PoV to Production: We will test operational impacts and prepare for transition to delivery and change which includes transition to new processes and methods; our key focus will be on IT and business change.
The Benefits: drive down Totex, increase asset resilience and reducing risk
By driving greater connectivity of assets and integration with existing IT systems, asset intensive organisations can drive benefits such as:
• Reduction in Capex and Opex spend
• Reduced risk of asset failure and downtime through predictive failure detection
• Optimised maintenance regimes through dynamic/condition-based maintenance
• Reduced energy consumption through optimised performance and improved consumption monitoring
• Improved field force productivity by ensuring right technicians to right job at right time
• Reduced service disruptions through improved network monitoring and control, as well as asset monitoring
• Improved health and safety performance, as well as timely interventions, through remote operability
• Reduced Capex redundancy due to more effective and prioritised Capex investment through better data and decision making
The uncomfortable truth is that asset intensive organisations are providing maintenance as an analogue service in a digital age.
But it’s an exciting time for the asset management industry. As companies continue to digitally transform, the requirement for Digital Asset Management will be even greater – and so will the opportunity. More data will be available from sensors, connected devices and other new operational technologies. In not so distant future, assets themselves will be communicating their investment needs through the Internet of Things (IoT). These assets would now be alive with technology services, thanks to the rise of the Machine-to-Machine communication.
Today, General Electric monitors and analyses 50 million data elements from 10 million sensors on $1 trillion of managed assets daily. With the convergence of 3 technologies – internet, mobile and cloud computing, the tide is changing and it will be interesting to see how the Utility industry will meet the needs and expectation of its customers.
Implementing and sustaining operational excellence in asset management can provide you with 15 – 20% of efficiency; with convergence of internet, mobile and cloud computing, asset Digital Transformation can give companies an uplift of 40 – 45% of efficiency gain and market competitiveness.
The world around us is changing. Are we ready for a digital asset economy?



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