Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is now an integral part of manufacturing lexicon. Many factors contribute to the widespread adoption of CMMS in the enterprise including the ever-increasing complexity of manufacturing operations, challenging operating conditions, doing more with fewer resources, perennial talent shortage and more.

Technology is rapidly changing the society at large and the enterprise landscape. Big trends impacting the manufacturing industry include digitization, 3D manufacturing, smart supply chains, connected enterprise, mobile workforce and industry 4.0.

CMMS is a product of technology and will continue to get influenced and adapt to the big trends. Here is a look at the top technology trends that we are seeing in CMMS domain.

1. Cloud and Mobile
Enough has been written about cloud and mobile and their impact on business. Maintenance has been a slow adopter and has been catching up on these technologies. Software-as-a-Service (Saas) based maintenance management applications have helped plant maintenance emerge out of the clutches of rigid ERPs. Mobile applications have brought the power of computing to the point of work and have made maintenance application an ally for the front line staff, from a hitherto thankless job. Digital user experience provided by these applications have transformed CMMS from a system of record to system of engagement.

SaaS-based CMMS and Mobile access have been gaining traction constantly and has become mainstream. With more Small and Medium Enterprises embracing technology for efficiency, expect this trend to continue with full momentum

2. Industrial Internet of Things
Internet of things has never been as popular as of now. Many shop floors are getting connected, and machines are equipped with sensors, internet of things and other automated sources of data capture. Recognizing the immense benefits such information can provide, more organizations are installing devices to capture real-time information.

When a billion people got connected the face of social networking, collaboration and business got transformed and we are moving towards 50 billion devices getting connected over the next few years. Change and transformation it’s going to bring in the industrial landscape is profound.

3. CMMS is the New Wire
Enterprise integration has been in existence for years for with-in-the-data-center applications. With the integration of best of breed public cloud applications with private cloud enterprise applications, hybrid clouds are emerging.

CMMS is becoming the new wire connecting disparate information sources viz. smart machines, internet of things, SCADA and other automated sources. Enterprise information backbone is no longer complete without integrating CMMS.

4. Rise of Reliability
Availability has been the cornerstone of maintenance. With more automated sources of data capture, there is increased transparency in the mechanics and metrics related to equipment performance. Technology advancements in condition monitoring domain have made data availability and integration more seamless.

Statistical techniques and computer models that are adept at processing such huge data and discover patterns are getting employed to forecast failures and improve reliability. The power of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are repositioning reliability as the new unit of measurement.

5. Operations & Maintenance – Lines are blurring
Earlier CMMS have been used to monitor only break-fix or preventive maintenance work orders. Now with more and more equipment parameters are getting monitored real time, and maintenance actions triggered based on equipment performance and operating conditions, there is more overlap between operations and maintenance. The traditional wedge between operations and maintenance is making way for a true partnership.

6. EAM is Dead. CMMS is the new EAM
When enterprise networking was in its infancy, CMMS gained traction and many of the installations were done at a site level. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) emerged as a new trend around the millennium that talked about multi-site architecture, standardization of process and institutionalization of knowledge and life cycle view of assets. Competing for corporate dollars, EAM started competing for ERP for survival and has become heavier requiring complex implementations.

Meanwhile, CMMS has caught on has incorporated all of these features and more. Advancements in Cloud, multi-tenancy architecture and big data have made strengthened SaaS-based CMMS. Such modern CMMS can provide all the functions of EAM and even integrate with IoT, with a fraction of the time, effort, and budget that a traditional EAM requires. SaaS CMMS is plug and play and thus are ready to go live against long EAM implementation timelines. EAM function is gaining traction but EAM software will continue to lose ground to CMMS.

7. Information Seeks You
The information explosion has gone beyond possible human consumption and processing and thus the game is shifting towards more automated processing of information. Desired business outcomes are often the starting point of analytics than information analysis and action-oriented analytics traverses back to trace insights, inferences and information analysis.

Analytics don’t stay put as mere summaries but initiate downstream actions based on set business rules. For decision makers, it’s information seeking them than they chasing information.

The Bottom Line: Break-fix is the diminishing element in Maintenance. And tomorrow’s winners are already making investments to build reliable maintenance systems

Maintenance is shifting from manual labor to information led intervention. The winners of tomorrow need to adapt their maintenance strategy constantly to the developing needs of plant operations to stay ahead of the game. Plant operations are going to be hugely different in 3 to 5 years. Embrace change today to build an adaptive, progressive and reliable maintenance system as a Strategic Investment for Future.