How to Develop an Asset Information Strategy

Many organisations face challenges obtaining accurate information about their assets. There may be an incomplete understanding of the number of assets and their location, or asset data is outdated and inaccurate.

Reporting on assets is a highly labour intensive process, and if people don’t have access to the right data in a timely fashion, they won’t have the information they need to support important decisions.

Organisations failing to meet data standards

Clause 7.5 of ISO 55001, which provides a set of requirements for an asset management system, details how an organisation should have relatively highly defined asset data and information requirement specifications, to support and enable its asset management system. It also requires that financial and non-financial data related to assets is aligned and provides sufficient clarity for decision making.

But many organisations struggle to interpret this clause in their own operations. They also fail to implement practical and effective processes to satisfy these requirements.

Whilst there are many information systems available today to assist with these challenges, they can be expensive and time consuming to implement. The cost of collecting data is well documented with data collection costing up to 70% of the overall operational cost of information management and systems. This is why there needs to be a good reason for collecting data in the first place.

Having the right information is key to managing assets properly - AssetFuture

Having the right information is key to managing assets properly - AssetFuture

The scope of an Asset Information Strategy

Having the right information is key to managing assets properly and mitigating risk, as well as benchmarking and improving performance

The scope of an Asset Information Strategy typically includes:

  • Business Processes: processes for collection and management of asset information

  • Systems/Software: technology required to support asset information management

  • Monitoring: processes to monitor compliance with information standards

  • Audit and Assurance: processes to verify that asset data and information is being effectively managed on a day-to-day basis as well as audited to ensure controls are appropriate to risk levels

  • Benchmarking: comparison of practices with other similar organisations to identify potential improvements

The content of an asset information strategy generally follows four steps:

  1. Current State: a description of the current state of asset information management system issues and foreseen challenges being driven by planned changes to the assets

  2. Future State: requirements for the future state asset information management system including business processes, information systems, monitoring benchmarking and audit and assurance

  3. Strategy to Get There: a description of the key activities to get from the current to the future state across a 3-5 year time horizon

  4. Roadmap: high-level, prioritised actions and resources required to implement the asset information strategy

Building a business case

To be successful, an asset information strategy needs approval at a senior level of an organisation. As well as budget to develop the strategy, ongoing governance will be needed to ensure it is implemented as intended.

There is a strong business case for having a robust asset information system, as fit-for-purpose asset information is essential for the most efficient and effective management of assets.