We are all aware of the impact technology and innovation is having across industry in general and the impact on asset management is also great.
Many organisations have been capitalising on the back of their products & services which deliver real time asset management and monitoring solutions.
These developments have had a massive effect, with owners now being able to monitor and assess their assets and plan maintenance activities or renewals with minimal impact. This proactive rather than reactive approach to asset management has many benefits to owners and users alike.
However, whilst tech is having an impact on the monitoring of assets. Whether A.I. can go one step further and replace the human element is worth exploring.
I'm sure software can be developed to analyse data real time and trigger the O&M activities which may be required. This however, would need asset owners to effectively networking their operational systems to subcontractors and suppliers. Allowing external systems to deliver and record activities and update the operator's interface.
Whilst in principal this could be possible. It would raise a few security questions and well as being only possible for suppliers with resource. Also how could an A.I. system effectively choose a supplier or gauge if an activity has been delivered satisfactorily? Yes a system could asses if an electrical part has been correctly installed and working properly. But could it check if site H&S or security procedures were met during the install?
There is no doubt in my mind that technology can have a massive impact across the asset management industry and I also believe we are only touching on what will be possible in the future.
However, whether the human element could ever be, or would want it to be replaced is another matter.
I suppose time will tell, but if A.I. does take over, what are we all going to do with ourselves?
Last year, at the inaugural Infrastructure Asset Management Conference West in Edmonton, I made a bold prediction: in 2026, what we call asset management today will be run by computers, not humans. This year, I intend to publish a series of articles delving deeper into the relationship between artificial intelligence and asset management to explore with you how far we are along that journey, whether it can, may or should become reality, and which puzzle pieces make up the picture of artificial intelligence in this field. As you read this article, please ask yourself the following question. Can asset managers really be displaced by algorithms and computers in 10 years? And please do leave a comment with your view and the factors you see impacting either side of the argument.