Asset Performance Management


2 min read

Welcome to the era of asset optimization

We envision a world where the lights never go out, networks never go down, and planes are always on time. A world where assembly lines operate flawlessly, cargo is delivered on schedule, and the turbines that generate energy never run out of steam. We envision a world in which the machinery that propels us forward is always operating at peak performance, reliably humming along at the pace of progress.

In this world, man and machine work harmoniously, forging a future in which expectation is a reality, and probability is predictable.

This is the world of Asset Performance Management (APM). It’s a smarter world. A better world. A world where you belong.

Let’s build that world together.

APM is the engine that drives the future

For many organizations the deployment of an Enterprise Asset Management system (EAM) was the beginning of monumental changes to how physical assets were managed. It allowed them to take control of critical assets and plan, execute, and track needed maintenance activities.

Engineer using a radio
Engineer using a radio

But the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and new technologies such as 5G has made much more possible. Today, organizations can use these technologies to improve decisions about when and how to provide routine maintenance, the optimal points to overhaul assets, and when to consider decommissioning and replacement.

Individual assets can now be monitored, measured, and managed to predict and prevent system failures. Operations can run uninterrupted. Time can be saved. And asset investments protected. This new practice is quickly being adopted by visionary enterprises and is driving a revolution of reliability.

APM is so effective that some asset-intensive organizations have been able to achieve


reduction in outages


reduction in maintenance costs

and extend the life of their assets by years. Wouldn’t you like to report those statistics, too?1

Your actions impact your assets

The success of your organization depends upon its physical assets. And the performance of those assets depends on the actions you take using the insights they generate. Keep reading to learn how you can leverage IoT and advanced analytics and AI to balance costs with risk and performance to optimize the contribution of your assets.


3 min read

APM is the engine of progress

Addressing the asset performance conundrum

Asset-intensive organizations struggle with the asset performance conundrum. How do they reduce risk and optimize asset performance while keeping maintenance costs low? And how can they repair and replace equipment without blowing their capex budget? Even organizations with the most sophisticated approaches have grappled with these issues.

Illustrations showing 1 ball across from 3 balls on seesaw
Illustrations showing 1 ball across from 3 balls on seesaw

Which do you choose: improve margins or reduce risk?

Cut costs to improve margins


  • Unplanned downtime due to aging assets
  • Lack of needed spare parts and capital
  • Overtime labor due to unforeseen failures
  • Increased risk of safety issues

Spend more to reduce risk


  • Over-maintenance of equipment
  • Excess spare parts in inventory
  • Increased size of maintenance staff
  • Extra assets lead to redundancy
  • Difficulty determining which assets to decommission, repair or replace
Closeup of worker diagnosing equipment failure Maintenance technician doing maintenance on industrial machinery Worker in hard hat turning switch

of asset failures appear random 2

Ours is not an orderly universe. Asset failures can occur at any time.

of preventive maintenance activities are carried out too frequently 3

Even worse, some maintenance activities may actually cause failure by disrupting the equilibrium of stable assets.

of all maintenance efforts are ineffective 4

Almost half of preventive maintenance costs are spent on assets with negligible effect on uptime failure.

EAM brings order out of chaos

Many organizations have embraced enterprise asset management for maintenance execution. EAM is a powerful tool that helps capture volumes of data related to assets – data like location data, maintenance schedules, and work order history. It helps bring order out of chaos. Additionally, EAM addresses regulatory requirements, enables calendar-based maintenance, and captures the knowledge of experienced workforce technicians.

But as the business world continues to evolve, more is needed. Competitive pressures have intensified, and there’s more pressure to maximize asset availability, reduce risks, and minimize maintenance costs. Also, with the help of EAM, we’ve learned that equipment failures aren’t always a result of age. Relying on calendar-based maintenance alone can cause expensive over-maintenance with lengthy disruption that becomes a drain on human resources. Or, it can result in unnecessary and costly replacement when planned refurbishment would have extended the life of the unit.

Add to these issues an aging infrastructure and retiring workforce technicians, and it’s easy to understand why many organizations are seeking help to better monitor health in real-time, assess risk and make better maintenance planning decisions about their myriad of assets.

Introducing APM: EAM with booster rockets

With the foundation of EAM firmly in place, providing a system of record, it has become possible to add powerful new capabilities to enhance the core. APM solutions are designed for decision support. Building on a foundation of EAM and data from plant operations systems and other systems of record, APM uses advanced analytics and AI to help engineers, planners and maintenance leaders make better decisions. It enables them to shift asset maintenance strategies from preventive to predictive, prescriptive, and financially optimized. It enables them to confidently determine which assets should be repaired, refurbished or replaced, which improves asset reliability.

Asset-intensive organizations that implement APM are achieving predictably outstanding results

Although it’s still in its infancy, APM is providing outstanding results. Asset-intensive organizations that have made the leap to APM are realizing unprecedented results:

A 15-50% reduction in operational costs
A 10-20% increased uptime and availability
Years of additional performance of assets

The results are so astounding that experts predict that the reduction of unplanned downtime can save manufacturers USD 50 billion annually. 5

Some organizations are reporting astounding results:

Decrease total spend on preventive maintenance by up to 50% 6

Reduce maintenance costs by up to 25% 7

Eliminate up to 70% of breakdowns 8

Cut unplanned outages by up to 50%9

The four pillars of APM


3 min read

Plan: the first step toward APM

To accelerate your APM journey it is necessary to re-examine and reassess asset management strategies. What are the goals? To reduce asset costs? To reduce risks? To improve resilience? Yes. Yes. And yes.

Organizations realize that it doesn’t make sense to treat all assets equally. They need to identify which assets need attention and when. And for even greater productivity, they want to ensure that when the technician arrives to perform the necessary maintenance, the procedure is known and the needed parts are available.

Planning is the first step in embarking on this journey.

The importance of criticality

You have hundreds, if not thousands of assets in operation at any given time. If you are like many in the industry you may be managing them in exactly the same way with the same maintenance schedules and inventory of replacement parts. Yet even within the same asset class, not all your assets have equal importance. For example, the failure of a power transformer in a residential area may be inconvenient. But the loss of power at a hospital could be tragic.

Rather than attribute the same importance and approaches to all your assets, it’s now best practice to determine the specific criticality of each asset or asset class. This assessment is based on the likelihood of failure and the consequences. Assets having a high likelihood of failure that could result in extreme consequences should be designated critical assets, and subject to the following measures:

Regularly planned predictive and preventive maintenance
Immediate availability of replacement parts
Assessments of condition and life expectancy
Contingency plans, including higher priority work order status

To accurately assess and assign criticality requires an understanding of your asset landscape and business objectives. It requires planning.

With appropriate planning, organizations can put into place a differentiated maintenance strategy that helps them achieve their objectives for uptime, safety, cost and the environment. They can establish a maintenance program to generate the best possible outcomes using the least amount of resources. They can make informed decisions about the lifespan of individual units and the need to refurbish or replace. They can ensure compliance, make better decisions and remain competitive. But it all begins by carefully examining their asset landscape and thoroughly understanding their goals.

Right balance of asset management demonstrated by Venn diagram showing sets too simple and too complex intersecting at correct
Right balance of asset management demonstrated by Venn diagram showing sets too simple and too complex intersecting at correct
APM level
1 Too simple
2 Correct
3 Too complex
Too much maintenance
Too little maintenance
Resource intensive
Time consuming
Minimizes costs while maintaining high productivity and safety

Analytics and AI make APM possible. Planning makes APM work.

Proper planning ensures that organizations implement the full spectrum of functionality required to meet their performance objectives. Ideally, they’re seeking:

Woman with a tablet
A comprehensive solution that integrates with their existing technology A single solution that provides everything required to manage the reliability of every asset in the enterprise, without the need for disparate point solutions from multiple vendors or the building of custom integrations.
Touchscreen device
Tools to quickly identify and prioritize critical, high-risk assets Proper planning collects and analyzes full data about your current asset state and projected lifespan.
Ability to compare various tactics, based on customized requirements Set company or site-specific objectives for safety, availability, environmental outcomes, maintenance costs and other factors. Conduct failure analysis and event simulation to help maintenance teams create and evaluate plans that find the balance among financial results, operational performance and residual risk.
Assurance that they are compliant with the appropriate regulatory requirements Industry-specific planning that includes safety, environmental and other important issues.
Business man
Insight into the business impact of the program Planning helps you prioritize your actions, and provide measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) and return on investment(ROI) targets.


2 min read

Monitor: Optimize operating performance with AI-powered insights

Your assets are becoming more intelligent. Now your model for operating and maintaining them must evolve. Organizations recognize it is now possible to aggregate data from across your operations — from low cost sensors and asset management systems of record to even legacy SCADA operational control systems and historians. They are seeking to scale solutions beyond limited pilots to unlock essential insights from patterns in the data.

Worried maintenance technician pointing at equipment data on large screen
Worried maintenance technician pointing at equipment data on large screen

The result? The availability of enterprise-wide systems designed to learn what is normal and alert asset maintenance leaders and operators when something has changed. This means identifying problems before they cause downtime.

circle illustration
Improve asset and operational availability with AI-based remote monitoring at scale

Combining intelligent assets and IoT sensors with remote monitoring and AI-powered insights can help you understand the context of your data, prioritize the right alerts, and see new relationships between factors causing downtime. Notify your maintenance manager when an anomaly is detected that could lead to a breakdown. Notify a machine operator or process engineer to make a change before a failure shuts down production. The savings can be massive.

Remote monitoring enables you to meet your many objectives for asset management and maintenance:

Make better decisions with real-time visibility of critical equipment
Understand real-time data to minimize negative trends
Respond quickly to reduce downtime
Maximize efficiency of production process and yield
Troubleshoot sources of degradation based on historical data
Detect anomalies and drill into root cause
Reduce maintenance costs associated with repeat failures
Reduce emergency maintenance costs, including supply chain and overtime
Reduce safety incidents and associated costs

APM works hard to keep you working harder

Maintaining sophisticated machinery is becoming more complex. Just think how much more effective your asset maintenance and operations leaders will be when you are armed with the following capabilities.

Reduced inspection time with remote monitoring of asset health
Fewer, more accurate alerts
AI technology for improved anomaly detection
Historical data retention
Drill-down capability for troubleshooting
Aggregated data from assets and operations
Quickly scalable enterprise-wide view
Seamless integration with your EAM and other systems of record

Past approaches to asset monitoring required costly and time-consuming manual inspections and basic alerting relying often on human observation. With internet-enabled assets connected to the cloud, you can now aggregate data around the clock from across your enterprise. You will rely less on inspections and have automated real-time visibility of asset operating state.

In addition to improved visibility, multi-sourced asset data provides a powerful foundation for advanced analytics and AI. With these tools in place you can empower your teams to understand factors contributing to failures and generate customizable alerts. This means your people can identify potential failures and troubleshoot faster. You ensure your people will have the right information to know break-fix before it matters and fix the problem right the first time – all to ensure your business never stops.

See the value that advanced AI-powered remote asset monitoring can bring to your organization.


3 min read

Health: What are your machines telling you?
Your machines are sending you messages

It’s true. With the advent of IoT and sensors, your connected assets are capable of telling you a lot about themselves, and about how you can get the most from your investment in them. A hydraulic pump might be telling you how you can reduce preventive maintenance costs by up to 25 percent. An airplane engine might be telling you that based on use, you can reduce maintenance hours by up to 70 percent. A wind turbine might be telling you that it needs maintenance every six months rather than every four. 10

If you listen carefully to the valuable data your assets are sending, you can take the appropriate condition-based preventive measures and more effectively meet your business goals.

Deeper insights into the health of your assets

APM determines overall asset health from a variety of data that is obtained from numerous sources, including IoT sensors, weather patterns, historical data, your EAM systems, and even human observations. This approach is far more sophisticated than a traditional time-based approach that can often result in continuous work order creation, regardless of need. Maximo Health gives you a clear, accurate, and near real-time picture of what’s actually happening to enable condition-based maintenance. Best of all, the health view is based on criteria that you establish.

Man viewing different types of data from various sources on screen
Man viewing different types of data from various sources on screen

So equipment maintenance schedules can be adjusted based on asset condition, usage, and history to provide peak performance while reducing maintenance costs. You can identify bad actors and analyze condition data to take immediate, appropriate remedial action to prevent unplanned downtime by sending a technician supplied with the instructions and the appropriate replacement part. Or you can even choose to automatically address the issue as part of the future routine maintenance.

Health insights provide clarity in a world of random malfunctions

Traditional methods of scheduling maintenance or asset replacement are often based on the calendar and static OEM-suggested maintenance plans. This ignores the fact that we live in a world of random events where unplanned equipment outages are rarely the result of age, but instead are based on a number of other variables: age, use, maintenance history, and environmental conditions they operate in.

Traditional methods don’t consider all the information related to unit condition or operating environment. Additionally, these methods don’t accommodate prioritization, and create unnecessary backlogs of work orders. The result? Maintenance leaders are often overwhelmed with work orders which will have little real impact on the operating life of the asset. Failures come as a surprise. And unplanned equipment replacement plays havoc with capex budgets.

Unit condition

Unit condition doesn’t consider the asset condition or operating environment. In such cases, assets may be over maintained, resulting in unnecessary maintenance spend with minimal impact on failure avoidance or the asset lifecycle.


A lack of prioritization creates a growing backlog of preventive maintenance work orders. As a result, some assets may become undermaintained, creating even greater risk for unplanned downtime.

Maximo Health reduces risk, save time, save money.

Maximo Health saves money and human resources by calculating a health score based on reliable engineering processes. Tracking asset health ensures that maintenance and refurbishment occur at precisely the right times, reducing the risk of unplanned downtime and extending the lifecycle of assets.

With Maximo Health you can:
Reduce unnecessary preventive maintenance

Eliminate costly, unnecessary calendar-based maintenance activities

Increase asset availability and longevity enterprise-wide

Maintain assets when aberrant readings are detected, before unplanned downtime occurs

Ensure assets receive correct maintenance on time

Drill down to see the root cause for the asset readings. Dispatch a technician with the correct equipment.

Reduce emergency maintenance and replacement costs

Reduce emergency maintenance costs including supply chain, overtime and unplanned replacement

Reduce fleetwide operational risks

Create a work order, based on real-time health score, explain the issue and set priority levels

Make better replacement planning decisions

Quickly and confidently decide whether to repair, decommission or replace

Increase gross margin by achieving peak performance

Remove unplanned downtime, increase output and production, and extend life of the assets


2 min read

Predict: Prevent problems, eliminate unplanned downtime

In an ideal world, machines would work at 100 percent capacity, 100 percent of the time. But this isn’t the real world. We live in a world where pistons suddenly stop firing, turbines suddenly stop turning, and you’re always awaiting the next unexpected failure. Face it, when you have hundreds of thousands of moving parts, you’ve got hundreds of thousands of opportunities for things to go awry.

Your job is to anticipate and minimize, if not eliminate these occurrences.

Being able to aggregate IoT sensor and operating environment data about your asset and integrate with sophisticated analytics provides powerful insights into potential failures. Here, data science and algorithms use this data to help you push beyond situational awareness and into prediction. This means predicting failures and understanding when they might occur – weeks, days or even months ahead of the event. You will be able to intercede early to prevent unscheduled downtime and reduce the high cost and organizational disruption of emergency repairs that can result from overtime work by technicians, the last-minute acquisition of replacement parts, and deferrals of other maintenance activities.

Two business employees engaging with data science
Two business employees engaging with data science

Increasingly, it is possible to predict failures and when they might occur — weeks, days or even months ahead of the event. With this information, you’re able to intercede early to prevent unscheduled downtime. And by doing so, you can reduce the high cost and organizational disruption of emergency repairs that can result from overtime work by technicians, the last-minute acquisition of replacement parts, and deferrals of other maintenance activities.

Take corrective action before a failure

Visionary organizations are using IoT, sophisticated analytics and AI to foresee problems and, in many cases, prevent them from happening. They do it by using APM predictions that monitor degradation of performance and provide a failure probability. A comprehensive solution allows operations, reliability, and maintenance personnel to:

Guide refurbishment and replacement planning
Project the likelihood of failure, identify when, and identify the top indicators that lead to failure
Establish prioritization of actions
Determine the optimal maintenance date
Adjust operations
Two business employees engaging with data science Two managers looking at asset performance history data on tablet Maintenance technician using tablet in industrial plant Maintenance technician using tablet to check equipment Maintenance manager and team of 4 maintenance technicians standing confidently in industrial plant
Keep or replace assets using real-time data
Based on each asset’s performance history
Assign priority based on a predicted failure window
Deferral saves operating expenses in the current period
Schedule operations to achieve peak performance

Contain costs, increase profits

Even organizations with the most mature EAM solutions and programs are experiencing mounting pressures to improve their asset performance and reduce unscheduled downtime. To stay competitive, they need to increase availability with predictability, optimize maintenance scheduling, manage the costs of their maintenance and replacement programs, and mitigate the risk of catastrophic failures that can impact their operations.

The bottom line is that equipment should be repaired before it fails, but not until maintenance is actually necessary.

Unplanned downtime can cost an average of USD 260,000 per hour! 11

How do you manage this seemingly impossible task when increasingly complex equipment is now used in every facet of business, in every location you operate? APM prediction provides the answer – ensuring that the need for maintenance is always predicted, always planned, always just in time.

It’s not just asset performance, it’s overall productivity

The value of APM with predictive capabilities extends beyond optimizing maintenance and cost savings. When organizations align maintenance investments to the demands of equipment, they improve overall equipment effectiveness for their machinery and human resources.

Work planning becomes easier to manage and more efficient. Equipment replacement can be planned based on real-time lifespan analytics. Worker health and safety is improved because maintenance teams are able to avoid dangerous, ad hoc repair projects.

Additionally, when equipment reliably performs at optimal levels with maintenance performed precisely when it’s required, the organization’s customers receive uninterrupted service that leads to stronger relationships.

See the impressive results of predictive maintenance


2 min read


Introducing IBM Maximo Application Suite

IBM Maximo Application Suite combines monitoring, maintenance, and reliability applications into a single integrated platform. With expanded access to CMMS, EAM and asset performance management applications, your teams can reach across your business units to unify operations and maintain business continuity, even under rapidly changing or disruptive conditions.

The suite helps analyze asset data with AI to provide insights that help you make better decisions, enhance efficiency, perform preventative maintenance, and maximize investment in physical assets.

Maximo Application Suite offers key capabilities that include:

An integrated suite of applications
Simplified licensing including single contract and pricing metric
Hybrid-cloud deployment
A comprehensive view of your assets

The Maximo Application Suite builds on IBM’s decades of leadership in the asset and operations management space, providing a closed-loop model from capturing and analyzing data to enabling prescriptive maintenance actions. It leverages IBM’s deep commitment to data science and AI at enterprise scale, as well as its recognized leadership in IoT platform, hybrid cloud, security and now digital twin technology

Modular design provides customized capabilities

The IBM Maximo Application Suite integrates key sources of data from your organization’s EAM system of record with sensor data from IoT and OT systems. It then applies a rich set of analytics and AI services to give you real-time insights into your asset performance. By providing the right information at the right time, it can initiate work orders to help ensure the required maintenance takes place before a failure occurs.

IBM solutions provide capabilities suited to your specific requirements:

Plan Optimize asset maintenance and replacement strategies based on asset risk and criticality
Monitor IBM Maximo Monitor enables AI-powered remote monitoring for enterprise-wide visualization and alert notifications of critical assets
Health IBM Maximo Health responds to changing conditions and prioritize maintenance and replacement decisions with asset health metrics
Predict IBM Maximo Predict helps you avoid unplanned down time using anomaly detection and predictive analytics to forecast failures

Learn about these APM solutions within the Maximo Application Suite. The knowledge you gain may be your first step toward greater corporate productivity, increased performance and increased profitability.

Maximo Monitor enables enterprise-scale remote monitoring and AI-powered anomaly detection to optimize operating performance with fewer, more accurate alerts, and greater insights into what is causing failure.

Monitor features:

Configurable dashboards, alerts, and drill-down
Enterprise-wide view of operations
Workflow to drive ownership of issues
Rapid data integration
Hierarchical data filtering and management

The first important step toward establishing a comprehensive APM solution is to create a maintenance plan. This plan enables decision makers to understand how different maintenance strategies may affect cost, uptime and other metrics over time.

It should include:

New levels of automation
Quantitative analysis
Enterprise-level integration
Failure analysis and event simulation

A solid plan will set objectives for safety; assess environment outcomes, maintenance costs and other factors; determine asset availability; and evaluate plans that balance financial results, operational performance and residual risk.

After the plan has been established, IBM Maximo Health allows an organization to analyze asset maintenance information, and other IoT and environmental data to help prioritize maintenance around critical assets and determine optimal replacement strategies.

Its capabilities include:

Consolidated global view of assets
Asset health visibility and analysis
Condition-based maintenance scheduling
Replacement planning that balances expected life with current condition and cost

This solution aggregates asset condition drivers and influencers, plus other data. It provides users with a complete view of the asset health score and recommendations for maintenance planning.

The first important step toward establishing a comprehensive APM solution is to create a maintenance plan. This plan enables decision makers to understand how different maintenance strategies may affect cost, uptime and other metrics over time.

This solution features:

Asset failure models
Determine factors that contribute to failure
Score models with current sensor data
Templates to build five common predictive models
Predictive models that provide scores using Watson machine learning
Pre-built visualizations for the five common models
Model scores that assess asset health with Maximo Monitor

It also allows users to:

Predict and reduce failures
Reduce unplanned downtime
Reduce maintenance costs
Improve asset utilization
Extend life of asset
Reduce replacement costs
Increase production output

Monitor assets. Manage maintenance decisions. Maximize performance.

We envision a world in which machines operate flawlessly to keep the wheels of industry turning. It’s a world where shutdowns and power outages never occur. Lights are always on. Trains are always on time. Expectations are consistently delivered on schedule.

Call us idealistic. Call us dreamers. But also call us committed.

Our suite of solutions builds on the success of EAM systems you may already own. We turbo-charge asset management, routine maintenance and critical repair decisions with bold new approaches and sophisticated new technologies. Our IoT and AI-powered modules are already achieving astounding results for the visionaries who have already implemented them, and they can do the same for you.

For more information about Asset Performance Management and how IBM Maximo can help your organization better manage its physical assets, speak to your IBM representative or contact us. We’d be happy to provide an assessment of your current operations to determine how you can leverage the benefits of IoT and AI.


  1. Kareem Yusuf, PhD, How IBM is Applying AI to Improve Operational Asset Performance, IBM THINK blog, February 28, 2019
  2. ARC view, Optimize Asset Performance with Industrial IoT and Analytics, August 2015
  3. Oniqua Enterprise Analytics, Reducing the Cost of Preventive Maintenance
  4. T.A. Cook, Maintenance Efficiency Report 2013, August 2013
  5. Predictive maintenance can unlock lower costs and better performance for African utilities
  6. Enterprise Asset Management and Field Service Management, ARC Advisory Group, April 2015
  7. By 2025, Internet of things applications could have $11 trillion impact
  8. G.P. Sullivan, R. Pugh, A.P. Melendez and W.D. Hunt, “Operations & Maintenance Best Practices: A Guide to Achieving Operational Efficiency, Release 3.0,” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, August 2010
  9. By 2025, Internet of things applications could have $11 trillion impact
  10. NextEra Energy Resources FAQs
  11. Stat of the Week: The (Rising!) Cost of Downtime