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Asset Management's Role In Enterprise Digital Transformation

Mujib Lodhi
CIO-Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
Monday, February 6, 2017
Mujib Lodhi
As CIO of one of the country's largest water utilities, the water sector carries special meaning for me. Having spent my childhood growing up in different countries, I can remember how important water is for enabling any sort of civilization to prosper. Accessibility was particularly important as to how advanced that civilized society might be able to grow. As a young boy I noted people having to walk as much as several miles to retrieve water with hand carried containers. To minimize trips, water was carefully rationed imprinting strong memories of how much we should appreciate water as an enabler of life.

Moving to modernized cities, it was amazing to see how much a mostly underground water infrastructure had depleted that appreciation among its populace. After generations where clean, fresh drinking water was always available by turning a knob it's easy to see why we forget the immense value of water to our very existence.

This story has not only played itself out in the water sector, but in virtually every industry that relies on an infrastructure of assets to efficiently deliver their products or services to customers at market viable prices. The customer has lost sight of the value of that infrastructure for getting them the products they value the most. These infrastructures age and must be replenished at great cost which cannot always be passed on to a customer who is unaware of such an infrastructure's existence.

As enterprise assets have grown in scope, mostly everyone agrees that automating the management of critical assets is a good idea and most organizations have already employed technology to assist in this endeavor.

A typical asset management system might access inventory and geo-locate assets, enable maintenance tickets for inspections, replacements and/or problem correction as well as insure the proper tools and skill sets are in place to be responsive to emergency and preventive maintenance issues. By themselves, they do little in support of the business beyond those basic functions even where significant business process improvements have been enabled.


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