The COVID-19 global pandemic has taught us that there are some disruptions that even the most prepared among us had not envisioned. For asset managers, this unprecedented interruption in operations has forced a heightened need for operational resiliency. As a result, they’re fast realizing the value of automated asset monitoring and maintenance programs that empower workers to do more with less.

Businesses that invested in innovative IoT-enabled technology are able to maintain consistent uptime even when the workforce is mandated to stay home. This new approach has enabled critical businesses to continue to run. Their preparedness during this economic crisis is a tribute to outstanding business operational planning. It’s a valuable learning experience for others who face similar challenges.

What is the Connected Technician?

In the 20th century, technicians were equipped with an assortment of big, heavy tools and good old-fashioned know how. They could fix just about anything. But anything isn’t what it used to be. Today, televisions are high-definition, computerized flat screens. Automobiles are self-driving transportation pods. Factory assembly lines have become fully automated robotic facilities.

The advent of IoT and AI has introduced the Connected Technician. Augmented with detailed knowledge from computer systems, these new professionals can quickly and accurately resolve complicated issues. What’s more, the application of remote monitoring and real-time analytics allows them to intervene before small problems become unproductive, unplanned downtime.

Why are some organizations better prepared than others?

In a previous blog, you learned about the great shift change: the continuing retirement of the baby boom generation. Spurred by the prospect that 25% of their experienced technicians would be resigning each year, many organizations implemented new enterprise asset management solutions. These implementations were intended to support continuous operations threatened by demographic shifts. But the advent of a global pandemic has demonstrated that innovative asset management programs can help keep the wheels of industry turning even when the entire world gears down.

IBM Maximo® — the global leader in enterprise asset management — helps many organizations tackle the monumental  challenges created by illness and quarantines. Artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics help predict and prevent unplanned outages. This reduces the need for onsite maintenance. So technicians perform service only when and where it’s needed. Additionally, field technicians can get asset diagnostics remotely even before the service call is scheduled. So when the technician arrives at the site, they have the tools and parts they require.

With the advantage of mobile units that connect to deep AI-powered knowledge bases, the technician can log on for instructions to perform the necessary repairs. Then, if they encounter a  particularly complicated procedure, peers or retiring workers with experience can remotely guide them step-by-step. This enables technicians to implement the right solution the first time they visit a location.

To protect field workers, sensors on clothing, in mechanical units and throughout facilities stream data to help ensure safety, security and compliance. This is especially comforting when health and safety are a critical concern.

We’re here to help

As each of us transitions our work and personal lives to contend with a new normal, IBM will be unrelenting in our commitment to support continuous enterprise operations. We’ll continue to help organizations throughout the world adopt innovative techniques, and help them empower the Connected Technician.

Explore the Field Management Guide to see how IBM can help you manage any asset, anytime, any where.

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