From hurricanes to bombs, from strikes to power outages, effective Asset Management provides the key to Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a vast organization encompassing departments from the U.S. Coastguard, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) all the way through to the Secret Service. Each and every one has to carry out a multitude of responsibilities to keep U.S. borders safe.
Whether the authority’s assets are in Seattle or San Antonio, Phoenix or Philadelphia, any single part of the homeland security organization has to ensure that it knows what assets it has, where they are, their level of capability, whether they are properly maintained and ready to be deployed – essential when a hurricane strikes or a bomb goes off – lives are at risk!
This is where I believe the new generation of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutican help modernize service delivery for public services to get the most from their resources.
Traditional ERP solutions just take too long to crank up to speed
The DHS is truly massive, employing more than 200,000 employees plus innumerable vehicles, land and building assists. In 2011 alone the DHS was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion. Managing this is a huge undertaking and to combine all of this is a monumental task in anyone’s terms.
The challenge is to maintain a large amount of operational assets – whether these are transport assets including police cars, fire trucks and buses or housing, land and buildings which incorporate schools and public parks – and I’ve only just begun.
The support service that is needed to organize this needs not just to be powerful, but also agile and flexible enough to be able to track all assets in real-time, ensuring that the best service is achieved and maintained consistently. And as we see regularly, the traditional big ERP asset management solutions just take too long to crank into operation.
Enterprise Asset Management – at your service
Solutions such as the IFS modular approach to delivering asset management are able to support all of this effectively by providing a management information sy that enables optimized asset usage by providing the essential elements such as asset information, identification, configuration and maintenance as well as current usage and trends. This model is flexible enough to be applicable across a vast amount of industries including aerospace and defense, construction, energy and utility management.
A solution such as this is ideal for public sector authorities requiring a focused solution that is able to address critical business issues and can be integrated with current support systems resulting in minimal business disruption.
And this is also equally important, on a business level, where it is able to ensure assets are correctly maintained, through-life costs are minimized while organizations can be confident that their business practices fall in line with industry standards.
Asset heavy, software light
Working with such a granular level of detail and integrating into a holistic asset management solution provides the landscape for asset-heavy organizations, such as those in the DHS, to streamline and refine their asset management programs.
No more information silos – assets are aligned to business priorities and asset performance is assessed and managed. The cycle of data being constantly fed back into the solution means that information is always updated and can be managed in real time. If an asset is determined to be ineffective in a specific area, or needs more support, this can be addressed quickly and with minimal disruption while at the same time providing valuable data to improve management of assets in the future.
The challenge is huge. It must be carried out within a framework of meeting the requirements of industry standard working practices and at the same time delivering exceptional services to citizens and customers. I believe it is entirely achievable.