Intelligent infrastructure management leverages increasingly connected world

Well-maintained public infrastructure is key to improving quality of life for residents and enabling a state, county or municipality to grow. Even the most competent public works and department of transportation officials, however, are reeling under the sheer number of assets to be monitored and serviced.

The limitations of traditional infrastructure management are varied and include:

  • Failing infrastructure: Not surprisingly, aging infrastructure leads the list of challenges. Whether they repair, replace or upgrade failing infrastructure, state and local governments are under extreme pressure to optimize spending and allocate resources efficiently.
  • Federal compliance: To receive full federal funding for core infrastructure investments, government organizations have to prove compliance and align with national performance goals that are part of regulations.
  • Growing volumes of data: While this is ultimately a good thing, the volumes of skyrocketing data that could help manage infrastructure assets are large, complex, and often in data siloes.
  • Mobility / mobile workforce requirements: Repair crews, civil engineers and other mobile field workers need infrastructure asset data at their fingertips to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. The challenge is managing and protecting the data that is generated, collected and shared across mobile devices.
  • Limited resources: Despite an infusion of funding for smart city projects, overall federal funding for public infrastructure has been relatively stagnant. At the same time, the number of infrastructure assets that are failing or reaching end of life has risen steeply, meaning asset managers must do more with less.
  • Citizen demands: More and more Americans own smartphones and they increasingly want their state and local governments to provide the same types of mobile services as the private sector.

Intelligent infrastructure management solutions provide relief

To address these limitations, forward-thinking organizations are deploying software solutions that leverage the power of the real-time, location-based data coming from sensors on roadways, lighting and other assets that collect and broadcast information about the status of physical infrastructure. These solutions provide the automated data collection, analysis and reporting capabilities that organizations need to make informed decisions about repair and maintenance of, and investment in, critical infrastructure assets.

In short, this intelligent infrastructure—a connected system of sensors, platforms and applications—is revolutionizing the way government agencies manage public infrastructure assets. A core component of intelligent infrastructure is embedded location intelligence, which enables organizations to minimize on-site visits and other human-intervention tasks necessitated by traditional approaches. This, in turn, reduces costs.

Intelligent infrastructure management is not some futuristic vision. Communities worldwide have implemented intelligent infrastructure management solutions for a variety of public needs. Within five years, for example, a county council in eastern England has realized more than 1.5 million pounds (nearly U.S. $2 million) in cashable savings and more than 3 million pounds (nearly U.S. $4 million) in non-cashable savings (through cost and resource efficiencies) by using an intelligent infrastructure solution to reduce the costs of managing highway and transportation assets.

Intelligent Infrastructure Management: New solutions for a connected world provides additional real-life examples of the working solutions. And the report doesn’t leave you hanging. It also provides a list (including why and how) of best practices for launching an intelligent infrastructure initiative:

  • Gain C-level backing
  • Establish a cross-functional team
  • Align projects / solutions with key performance indicators
  • Know the value of assets
  • Prepare for large volumes of data generated by sensors and other sources
  • Include citizen-centric services
  • Start with a gateway project
  • Understand the emerging vendor ecosystem
  • Look for a solution providers that align with the organization’s needs

Learn more

To learn more about how intelligence information management can help your community, read Intelligent Infrastructure Management: New solutions for a connected world.