Mission beyond the bottom line

When public agencies manage assets, they need powerful tools to stay accountable for finance and performance, and to meet their mission

By | 3 minute read | October 20, 2020

Asset management in the public sector is often viewed as a dichotomy between responsible stewardship of assets and effective mission enablement, but this is simply not the case. While it is a difficult balance, public sector asset managers are constantly coming up with ways to do both—to meet the needs of their highly agile missions while putting the taxpayer dollars to efficient use in a highly regulated environment.

Giving organizations in both enterprise and government the enhanced ability to track assets in real time, in detail, and with in-depth reporting, is the inspiration behind the work IBM and Deloitte have done to develop a new asset tracking capability rooted in IBM Maximo Application Suite. In an earlier entry in this series, my colleague Francisco Acoba introduced this new tool and described some of its key benefits.

Keeping trackable assets operational

The value of this capability is especially acute for public agencies. Because these organizations have less flexibility in budgeting, more formal layers of accountability, and more visibility than private organizations—and because they are there to carry out a mission to serve citizens—it’s vital that they keep their trackable assets operational. That starts with being certain from moment to moment where assets are located and what their status is.

Sometimes the need is clear. For example, large defense agencies are responsible for expensive pieces of equipment that are always on the move—and when they’re needed, the need is absolute. In cases like these, accurate, timely asset tracking doesn’t just save money. It can make or break policy outcomes and save lives.

Staying on mission for cost control … and public trust

Even in less urgent settings, public agencies need asset tracking to be more effective in their missions and cost-efficient, whether the assets they’re tracking are fleet cars, computers, firearms, or communications equipment. If they fail to account for what they have, they might not only fall short in mission performance, they may fail audits. This would jeopardize funding, or — worst of all — lose public trust.

For example, a state highway patrol agency may own hundreds of specialized patrol vehicles. The inspections and audits that establish their count and whereabouts may happen once or twice a year. But when it’s time to determine how many new cars to include in the next year’s capital budget, how precisely can the agency determine its need? It may underbuy if dozens of cars are off the road for mechanical failures. It may overbuy if it miscounts missing vehicles.

In for-profit enterprises, measuring the bottom-line value of business intelligence software and the knowledge it brings is possible through arithmetic. But, in public service, it’s harder to gauge, because government entities measure their “bottom line” in their ability to execute on their mission. But when mission outcomes don’t match expectations, the results are often costly and make headline news.

Meeting the dual mandate of mission and dollars

Asset tracking with IBM Maximo Application Suite helps public sector asset managers and their agencies meet that dual mandate — mission and dollars — so that performing effectively and keeping sound stewardship of public resources are two goals that work in tandem, not as two forces that pull in opposite directions.

Interested in learning more about this new asset tracking capability? Check out this overview and watch our live demo and discussion.


About Deloitte and IBM

Drawing on a relationship that has spanned more than 20 years, Deloitte and IBM combine technology leadership, hands-on business experience, and industry knowledge to guide our recommendations and challenge the possible. We use these insights to set up the right infrastructure and connect systems so you can bring the promises of digital solutions to life. Together with IBM, we help you deploy and scale enterprise asset management solutions with confidence.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of our legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.