Let’s not Put Up with Bad Asset Management Technologies – 2016 Edition

ghosts in fixed asset management ledgers

More than 2 years ago, I wrote a post on LinkedIn “Let’s not Put Up with Bad Asset Management Technologies”, listing two examples: 1) Excel Sheets; 2) Client Server Type of Asset Management Software.

Since then, I have written and spoken in different forums about what I believe should be “Good Asset Management Technologies” and the challenges for implementing them. Increasingly, businesses, school systems, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations are turning to us to solve their problems, because they share our beliefs about “Good Asset Management Technologies”. We feel validated when 1) Customers tell us, “Finally, we are done with excel sheets and ready to switch to a system”; 2) When most customers are buying Software as a Service.

As we approach the end of 2016, I am asking the questions: “Are businesses and organizations still putting up with bad asset management technologies?” “If so, what are the bad asset management technologies prevalent today?”

Unfortunately, despite the positive changes, many businesses and organizations are still putting up with bad asset management technologies, and the number one on that list remains the same:  Excel Sheets. The evidence is clearly presented in my most recent blog here “Spreadsheets in Your Office – More Widespread Than You May Think”.

This problem probably won’t go away anytime soon. I recently read an excellent book, “There is Life after College”, discussing the skill gaps between what employers are looking for in college graduates and what these college students have learned. Employers across industries frequently requested soft skills like communications, problem solving, detailed oriented, and hard skills like Microsoft Excel and Word.

“Bottom line: even if you’re an English major, learn how to manipulate a spreadsheet by taking an online class or asking a friend.”  — Jeffrey Selingo in “There is Life after College”

Spreadsheet skills will help college graduates land a starting job because they are used everywhere. So do you think the problems with using spreadsheets to manage physical assets will go away soon anytime soon?

Other than excel sheets, I would list the other bad asset management technologies:

  1. ERP systems – they are not designed for supporting day to day operations in the life cycle management of physical and IT assets. But somehow many businesses and organizations are led to believe otherwise.
  2. Software solutions built for use as standalone applications – these systems don’t have an easy way to exchange data with other systems. In today’s Platform as a Service world, they are obsolete.
  3. Software vendors that charge seat licenses – this pricing model is a legacy from the era of Client Server type of software. If we have moved beyond that era, why should we put up with this pricing model?

I am confident 2017 will continue to bring us changes in how businesses and organizations buy asset management software, because innovative technologies that bring clear benefits to the users will always win in the end.

If you want to learn more about why spreadsheets are not adequate for managing physical assets,  you can click here to download our white paper: “Spreadsheets or ERP –Why They are Inadequate for Managing Government Property System?”.

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