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Denver digital assets library
Case Study
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For asset-intensive industries such as the resources and energy sectors, managing their technology asset's lifecycle is a huge job. Despite the economic value of IT and OT assets to the business, teams are often time-poor and assign a low priority, or inadequate resources to asset planning, redundancy, ongoing maintenance, upgrades, or asset forecasting. 

Our global mining client sought a more robust, structured approach to their asset lifecycle management and elected to use one of their sites as a prototype to establish a Technology Asset Roadmap strategy before rolling out to other sites.

The Challenge

Our client’s IT and OT asset lifecycle records across the organisation were disparate with no overarching process control, resulting in incomplete and often unreliable data. Additionally, future planning for end of life devices was difficult as disparate and incomplete asset registers gave little insight into the processes required for forecasting, budgeting, and project portfolio analysis.  This situation is not unfamiliar to miners, whose work typically covers large geographical work locations that incorporate an array of IT and OT assets and a range of stakeholders with varying functional needs.

At this site, our client’s OT asset areas included PCN and wireless, underground radio, microwave and radio frequency equipment, UPS and facilities. The IT areas included end-user computing, networking (including routing, switching and firewalls), hosting environments and unified communications.

The consequence of the disparate and segmented asset management approach meant that few stakeholders had the asset information they needed to make the decisions that they needed to make. Meaning, they were unable to determine when assets were reaching end of life or were out of warranty, schedule replacements, understand the reliability of vendors or the assets themselves and unable to produce a 3-year plan and budget for asset replacements and projects.

“With inconsistent data in multiple locations being accessed by a wide range of groups and individuals, they could not make decisions based on priorities and value. Meaning, they could not plan or cost activities for the following year or beyond. Planning and predictive maintenance was well and truly on the back foot.” Sally Livingstone, Senior Project Manager and Business Analyst, Denver.

  

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The Objectives

The client wanted to be able to:

  • Align asset data across the disparate groups for IT, corporate sites, site networks and Operational Technology.
  • Streamline logistics to decrease asset management complexities. For example, different teams had to coordinate with and complement groups charged with break-fix and maintenance activities, as well as corporate teams that oversaw operations and participated in budgeting processes. 
  • Reduce the siloed team approach to IT & OT asset lifecycle management and streamline processes. For example, while the desktop support team had an asset management plan in place, other teams were undertaking minimal or no management of equipment that was over a decade old.
  • Leverage "fit for purpose" systems and reduce reliance on labour-intensive, error-prone manual processes and spreadsheets for critically important activities.

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The Approach

After discussions with the client, Denver provided an approach and outlined activities to address the issues:

  • Analysing the current state of data, processes and ownership of Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM)
  • Identifying technology and processes to improve ALM data quality and ongoing processes for maintaining them
  • Identifying technology and processes that could allow for accurate management reporting and forecasting in the future  
  • Selecting a site to run a Proof of Concept – underpinned by automation –that would cover processes, data and technology, and people. encompassing 3 different activities for 3 different purposes to provide for a holistic solution.

Part 1 – Data Discovery 

Configure the existing ServiceNow Discovery Tool in the Spike environment to discover lost assets on the client’s network and to automatically create Asset and CI records in the existing ServiceNow platform.  

Part 2 – Asset Data Enrichment  

Configure and integrate the product Warranty Master to retrieve warranty information from vendors using the Serial # of assets in ServiceNow, automatically populating the existing asset records. 

Part 3 – Future State Processes 

The delivery of a suite of asset lifecycle management ServiceNow processes to outline the best practice for preserving quality asset records. 

Working in sprints, we identified early on that the lack of centralisation meant the ServiceNow platform (notionally implemented for IT and OT asset lifecycle management across the organisation) was not being used to its full potential.  “We are already proposing that platforms like ServiceNow are used to their full potential,” says Livingstone. “At present, for example, there are few mandatory fields and no prompts to users to fill in the remainder."

“We propose to review what the operator has, configure the system properly and propose future processes and responsibilities for filling in the required fields. We would then undertake the rollout and ask the operator to fill in the system with what data it has.” Denver will then look to locate what missing data it can and fill in any gaps.

  

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Outcomes

Working with the client, we reviewed its approach to asset lifecycle management to clearly identify the problem- understand their systems and assets, identify gaps to capture and clean data, train people in creating and managing assets in systems and establishing success criteria.

Following the Technology Asset Roadmap structure delivers better control, including management, maintenance, spend, decision-making and planning. Benefits include increased uptake of the existing systems to help them realise the benefits of their existing ServiceNow investment and better manage assets by internal team members, improved data quality and fewer gaps. With a documented review of current IT and OT asset management processes, data and solutions the client can plan for end of life devices, asset redundancy and forecasting requirements and maintain data-centricity and longevity and covers:

  • Data quality
  • Portfolio reporting and forecasting
  • ServiceNow as an asset lifecycle management solution
  • Process ownership and governance
  • Change readiness

“The follow-on from better data quality is better IT & OT asset lifecycle management, so those assets do not fall out of support and warranty. This improves support and lowers costs over time, because when you manage IT & OT asset lifecycle properly, you can budget more effectively. “ Adam Soudure, Head of Enterprise Services, Denver. 

 

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