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"When we think about assets, overhead infrastructure or physical buildings, or roadways, tunnels, harbors – all of this now can be precisely understood by a wide variety of sensors," Rhodes says.
Another factor is that the end-user population has high expectations for easy-to-use applications because of the wide proliferation of smartphones and tablets. With so many smartphone users holding a map in their hands, there's a rising interest among users to see what's involved when a work question includes "where?"
Rhodes says this demand presents a challenge for IT organizations not prepared to make the shift to user-friendly apps, particularly with geographic information systems (GIS) and their historic technology cousins, computer assisted design (CAD) systems, deployed for asset management. "Not everyone understands how to manage GIS or CAD environments," he says. Those technologies have been quiet within businesses "and now [they're] front and center because of the upswing of mobile devices," he adds.
Businesses implementing GIS-based asset management systems cite lessons familiar to IT project leaders: Business drivers guide them. Data quality is paramount. If the new applications change existing business processes, it's likely that end users will need training. Applications that are simple to use engage more employees and lead to better results.
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