Avoid government infrastructure failure with asset management technology

Even as the horrific death toll in Türkiye and Syria from the earthquake in February 2023 was still rising, scandals and blame were erupting across the international media.

Stories of buildings not complying to standards and dark allegations of corruption understandably fueled outrage amidst the horror and grief.

Yet, sadly, the stories inspired a sense of déjà vu – one that is entirely justified.

The Morandi bridge collapse in Italy in 2018 caused the death of 39 people and immediately sparked furious debate about questionable design and poor maintenance. It soon emerged the engineer who designed the bridge had warned as far back as 1979 that it would require constant maintenance to remain safe.

Then just last year, a major car bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh, US, injuring 10 people. The bridge was just six kilometers from where President Biden was due to give a speech that same day lamenting the deterioration of US infrastructure and the desperate need for investment.

It would be a brave or foolish person to imagine Australia is immune to the inevitable impact of time on our infrastructure and assets. Writing at the time of the Genoa bridge collapse, Monash University senior lecturer in Civil Engineering Colin Caprani noted 70 percent of Australian bridges are more than 50 years old.

Further the traffic loads and weights today are far different from what they were at the time those bridges were designed and built.

However, there is good news. The tools available to track and manage the condition of assets of all sizes, from bridges to computers and office equipment, have both a power unimaginable even a decade ago and are integrated into core business financial systems to ensure maintenance is tracked, funded and even that crews are mobilised to do the work on time.

Unfortunately, many organisations continue to tempt fate and waste money by trying to manage assets on disconnected spreadsheets and make decisions about spending priorities without a “single source of truth” guiding priorities.

Not only is this wasting what probably amounts to billions of dollars, it is contributing to an unquantifiable public risk.

This is true of many of the government agencies responsible for a vast collection of public infrastructure assets.

Technology holds the key to asset management and maintenance

Technology has a growing role and significance in every aspect of government asset management.

With modern integrated systems, governments can make smarter decisions and sustainable long-term plans with full visibility of the total cost of operating, maintaining, upgrading, and replacing assets based on their age, condition, capacity and whether they are fit for purpose now or in the future, so resources can be put to best possible use.

Reactive asset maintenance can create significant costs for governments, and big risks.

Predictive modelling capabilities of asset management software can predict the maintenance costs and treatments required and automate the scheduling of ongoing maintenance. Studies have shown that predictive and proactive maintenance informed by complete and real time asset information can significantly reduce reactive maintenance and production down time, in turn reducing costs.

Work more efficiently with the right tools

Asset management software helps governments plan the use of assets more effectively, reduce risk, save money on maintenance and free up resources which can then be used toward other projects. Stakeholders also benefit from improved asset management, with the biggest winners being operations staff, who see huge time benefits with day-to-day manual paperwork replaced by the click of a button.

Using asset management data insights, governments can make evidence-based decisions backed by real data and understand where to direct resources to get the most value, which projects to put on hold, and understand and foresee risks.

These technological tools can help governments to avoid the infrastructure failure we’ve seen happen across the world.

With more than 30 years’ experience partnering with Government in Australia and New Zealand, TechnologyOne’s Enterprise Asset Management can make it easier to plan, deliver and manage government assets. To gain more visibility and transparency into asset data and increase productivity, visit here.

Publish date

10 Mar 2023