Keywords: Mobility, Social Media, Infrastructure, CAPEX/OPEX integration, Big Data.
Bentley Systems sponsored the eighth annual CIO Workshop in Amsterdam in November. The workshop focused on the role of mobile technology in asset information management (AIM) and how the infrastructure industry can find value in an emerging mobile environment. Approximately 50 CIOs, industry analysts, and information management domain experts attended and participated in the workshop. These represented a broad range of companies involved in infrastructure, power and process, and architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC).
The participating CIOs, many of whom have to deal with the challenges of delivering infrastructure construction and operational information to multiple locations and platforms, examined current business practices in distributed information delivery. Moreover, the participants examined the impact of mobility and the potential value that this technology could bring to help address the challenge of managing distributed information.
Assessing the Value of Mobility in Infrastructure
Greg Williams, executive editor of Wired Magazine, presented the keynote address. Williams made the case for businesses to embrace consumerization and openness in their IT systems as they support today's demand for information mobility. Williams pointed out how the rules of value creation have changed and that connected devices have become our primary resource for social interaction. Williams maintains that the computer desktop era is over. In its place, open, untethered mobile communication will drive business and industry with the exchange of huge volumes of essential information and other content.
Following the keynote address, five different companies delivered a series of presentations. These companies represented a cross section of infrastructure and infrastructure-intensive industries: rail, public works, buildings, oil & gas, and water. Each of the presenters focused on the business implications and drivers surrounding connectivity and mobility in their respective areas.
Expert Panel Addresses Bridging the CAPEX/OPEX Divide
ARC participated in a panel session with two Bentley VPs and another industry analyst. This panel explored how the CAPEX-related projects driven by corporate technology strategies differ from the OPEX-related activities that support operations.
The panel examined the topic of Big Data and the impact that Big Data analytics would have on integrating CAPEX projects and OPEX activities. The presenter associated with the panel session pointed out that Big Data, a collection of multiple data sets and unstructured data, is so large that typical database management tools cannot process the data. The volume of data can only be processed and analyzed by a combination of advanced data collection, analytics, search engines, and visualization.
Predictive modeling and analytical methods can be used to make predictions from historical information. To help integrate CAPEX and OPEX, Big Data methods enable benefits such as cost engineering and functional models, architectural planning and design, facilities management, lifecycle cost data, early cost data, and fewer re-designs.
The panel also examined the convergence of product lifecycle management (PLM) and asset lifecycle management (ALM). The presenter pointed out that the assets and the asset lifecycle are more than just the plant, factory, or facility; they also include project-centric, asset-centric, and performance-centric elements; as well as operational, support, and, maintenance information. For equipment design/build activities, all product, process, and production design information is included in the PLM environment. The goal, moving forward, is to integrate all PLM and ALM information into a common collaborative platform that would represent the single source for all facility and equipment design/build/operate/maintain information.
The theme of this CIO Workshop, Collaboration and Interoperability in Infrastructure Management, could potentially encompass an extremely broad range of topics; each worthy of detailed attention in its own right. That said, the workshop organizers, presenters, panels, and CIO participants succeeded in examining an impressive number of critical infrastructure issues over the course of this one-and-a-half day workshop, and doing so with thought-provoking depth.
ARC commends Bentley Systems for sponsoring and bringing together domain experts and thought leaders in infrastructure and industry to confront and address critical issues and challenges facing companies and innovators in this space.
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