“This makes sense”.
That is the consistent message from transit agencies at conferences and in one-on-one discussions about using mobile apps to digitize and automate SGR and maintenance inspections, inventorying, facilities condition assessment, and reporting. Business users – including, technicians and mechanics – see immediate value in eliminating paper, manual data entry, filing, and the grunt work involved in collating data to generate mandatory reports and more.
Although the need for an EAM upgrade is commonly acknowledged, the “we need to wait” mentality is quick on the heels of the acknowledgement. In the past, the justification for this “let’s wait” approach was based on the time, resources, and budget it takes to upgrade or migrate the back-end system. This often leads to a situation where the business users need something now that they see as a substantial win vs the IT need to first evaluate and implement an enterprise system.
Times and technology have changed, and it doesn’t have to be an either-or dilemma. Transit agencies and utilities are seeing substantial wins from immediate deployment of mobile tech while planning on their larger scale EAM deployment.
A large Metro and Connixt customer reports 20% savings in labor-hours in the first few months of implementing iMarq, the Connixt cloud-mobile system. The payback is obvious.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- Quick wins are possible on the front-end
Front-end technicians and mechanics can use mobile apps to run much of their daily work. Cloud-mobile technology makes deployment possible within weeks rather than the months or years it takes for large scale EAM deployments. Those months and years don’t have to be a dead-zone of no change and no gains.
- Integration is not the challenge it used to be
One CIO likens mobile apps to the gun-sights that make the big-guns (EAM deployments) effective.
- Low tech deployment today
Immediate deployment can be with the existing legacy system or managed from the cloud entirely with CSV files or other formats provided for the back-end. Either way deployment is quick, with low IT overheads. Once the new system is ready, the integration switches to the new environment seamlessly with no front-end impact. There are two great benefits that come from this (see 4 and 5 below).
- Change management is minimized with a mobile front end
Technology is only half the challenge (or less) for successful deployment; the rest of it is always user adoption. Users on a mobile system are already used to digitized and automated processes with their mobile apps. They see no change to their front-end – no matter what has happened on the back-end – because any switching takes place in the IT realm. With no changes to their front-end experience, end-users see no change in their work or processes. That means there is no learning curve to use it or resistance to change.
- Fine-tune and digitize processes – get them system-ready
Whatever the back-end system is– legacy, new, old, home-grown, green-screen – front-end mobility can be deployed today to make end-user life easier, more productive and highly efficient. Digitizing processes allows those processes to be fine-tuned, as well as re-designed forms, and faster approvals, with no impact on the back-end system. All of this goes toward making the final EAM deployment that much more productive.
Mobile technology deployments can deliver immediate productivity gains and large-scale EAM deployments don’t have to delay these gains. Don’t limit your choice of mobile technology.