Identifying a way to attract and retain talent in asset-intensive organizations, such as power generation, oil & gas, and materials companies, is extremely difficult. Industry veterans are retiring in waves, new engineers who are beginning to be trained are interested in emerging technology, and mid-career employees are requiring more balance than ever. The good news is organizations can take steps to build a foundation and technology ecosystem that can address the challenges established above.
Develop a scalable foundation that supports current and future employees
In the past, it was thought that the only way to create a scalable foundation for the future was to invest in a large platform provider that overpromised and underdelivered. In today’s age, digital solutions are interoperable, allowing organizations to choose multiple vendors that can help generate an ecosystem. For asset-intensive organizations, systems such as EAM, ERP, CMMS, and Asset Performance Management (APM) are all able to co-exist and generate value for all employees. GE Digital’s APM software is built on a modernized backend, with the ability to connect directly to IBM, SAP, PI, and nearly any other system that is hosting data relevant to Maintenance or Reliability. Pair this data with that existing in other systems in a central repository or data lake, and Asset Performance Management can be a piece of an enterprise solution that promotes the storage of subject matter expertise, ability to bring your own models and analytics, as well as AI/ML capabilities that leverage data to help your operation make better decisions.
Integrate AI/ML tools, Digital Twin technology, and advanced analytic capabilities
Advancing the use of technology while balancing an aging workforce presents challenges in and of itself. To take advantage of a software ecosystem, it is integral that all parts of the business progress to digital-first. Once the digital shift begins to occur, and data begins to flow into a central location, technologies such as AI/ML and Digital Twins can begin to leverage the expertise of current employees and open the door for new market entrants to innovate off that expertise. Many solutions are now built on microservice infrastructure that promotes the ability to use data in new and interesting ways. These services also allow vendors to develop flexible applications that provide immediate value. Taking a look at AI/ML, which tends to be the biggest area of interest across digital providers, it requires immense amounts of data and outcomes to be able to train itself for future work—the same goes for Digital Twins. By developing a software ecosystem, data can be seen through a single pane of glass that can enable the next generation of employees to be productive and iterate on the past using new technology.
Improve efficiency with mobile solutions with online and offline capabilities
Over the years, work has shifted from paper to desktops to mobile devices. Although digital transformation has had its documented challenges, moving to a mobile-friendly work capability is easier than it has ever been. Current desktop and enterprise applications have succeeded in making user experience and performance consistent across the two device types. In the Asset Performance Management space, mobile applications can collect picture, audio, corrosion, and other data types from the field, and then are able to seamlessly transfer data to a central location in online or offline mode. This digital capability is integral in helping to upskill current workforce in the field and is also highly attractive to new potential employees who spend the bulk of their time on a mobile device.
Invest in solutions that are easy to use and built with expertise
For new talent entering the market, nothing is more important than being able to login and use critical systems from day one. Not only are new market entrants digital-first, they also grew up with high powered computing and all the information they needed in the palm of their hand. For enterprise systems such as Asset Performance Management, availability and reliability of performance are critical and require modernized infrastructure to support it. Therefore, for asset intensive organizations, finding a partnership with a provider committed to being available will massively impact employees. Once organizations have an available and reliable system, their users will gain confidence in the system's ability to support their work requirements. For more tenured employees, using new technology might be more of a learning curve, however companies can lower the barrier to adoption by choosing intuitive technology that incorporates domain expertise. As new employees work with the more tenured parts of the organization, having an easy-to-use system allows both parties to collaborate productively and work as one to better the business.
The term ‘metaverse’ is currently overused and under-delivered on, however, organizations can progress their technology ecosystem towards a future where a “metaverse” could be possible. In today’s asset-intensive world, most critical assets have sensors or IoT technology to allow for near real-time remote visualization of them. Alongside technology like Asset Performance Management, leveraging 2D/3D capabilities is a common next step for organizations that are continuing their digitization. These 2D/3D models are created with near real-time data in addition to an asset’s CAD drawings or OEM blueprints. Technology allows users to get safely and productively closer to assets.
Build a digital-first organization and enable a more connected and flexible mobile workforce with software.