Top Asset Technology Trends to Watch in 2020

In recent years, the digitization of enterprise asset management (EAM) has become a top priority for many organizations. In fact, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the EAM market is expected to grow from $US 5.1 billion in 2019 to $8.2 billion by 2024. The growing demand for technologies like edge devices, SaaS-based tools and apps, cloud-based platforms, artificial intelligence and machine learning-based models, and digital twins are just some of the major factors driving the growth of this evolving market.

Professionals tasked with EAM responsibilities are facing tremendous pressure to figure out how to best leverage these technologies to deliver more-informed and effective business results. To help, we reached out to some of the speakers from the upcoming SAP-Centric EAM and Supply Chain Conference to identify the key trends they think we should pay attention to in the EAM space this year. Their answers are summarized below.

4 Asset Technology Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

Central to all of the trends identified by the speakers is the move from reactive to predictive and intelligent EAM solutions. Specifically, we identified four major themes were woven into their responses:

  1. Transitioning to a digital business
  2. Connecting and tracking asset quality data across the organization
  3. Intentional partnerships within and outside of the organization
  4. Convergence technologies and processes to deliver unified outcomes

These trends and others are also discussed in the ASUG 2020 EAM report, which we recommend reading to gain a deeper understanding of the developments to pay attention to this year.

Transitioning to a Digital Business

The rise of Industry 4.0 has brought with it emerging technologies like artificial technology, cloud-based solutions, the internet of things (IoT), and machine learning. However, for the technology to be used correctly, EAM must be combined with proper strategies and management so organizations can gain access to natural and real-time visibly into the usage of their assets. When implemented effectively, EAM becomes an indispensable component for organizations globally.


Now is the time for digital transformation and EAM innovation in your organization. Embrace this new world or be Ubered!”
Paul Kurchina | @PaulKurchina

Asset managers must understand the maturity of their technologies to derive an intelligent digital transformation plan that moves them along the maturity curve and brings the biggest ROI. Instead of getting caught up with the shiny, sexy solutions, they must understand WHY their organization needs this and gauge if they’re willing and ready to adopt the complex asset-management concepts. The other trend and conflict I see is the push for senior managers to drive big-data concepts to build finite revenue initiatives. While at the same time, the typical asset management groups are in an infinite world of continual improvement and are trying to leverage big data to drive down costs and improve processes within the EAM & SCM areas. The finite and infinite worlds then end up in conflict with one another, and the critical question for asset managers is how do we strategize both deliverables to drive the best ROI for our organizations.”  – Graham Macleod

One trend to watch out for in 2020 is the rise of people paying attention to asset management and figuring out how they can be more involved, engaged, and supportive of the overall asset management concept and domain. Another trend I foresee is how the technologies and sensors can become more integrated within the entire asset management context. I consider it like the space race from the ‘60s to see who is going to reach the moon first. In our case, it is the race for the perfectly censored asset that manages itself or the one who becomes the Tesla of asset management. Lastly, let’s hope that one of the trends is zero process-safety incidents, no infrastructure incidents, and no public-utility incidents in 2020. In other words, the trend we should all be paying attention to and working towards is safe operations, no matter the industry.”  – Norm Poynter

Connecting and Tracking Asset-Quality Data Across the Organization

In our digital era, organizations must be able to make immediate, relevant, and tailored decisions from quality data. Thus, data professionals are driving organizations to help them get a clear picture of what is happening with their data across the entire company by connecting technology systems in a central data warehouse.

Businesses are wanting to migrate from transactional to data-driven business processes. They must be willing to look at using technology to move beyond just providing insights to the business but connecting those insights into meaningful operational actions.” – Andy Hancock

“The impact of data on areas such as MRO reduction, capital project information handover, and synchronization across systems of design, record, and operation.” – Scott Barrett

Intentional Partnerships Within and Outside of the Organization

The ability to streamline workflow and collaborate both within and outside the organization is a significant benefit of EAM tools. Helping departments, processes, and organizations work together in a data-informed and digital manner will allow organizations to design custom solutions to fuel their growth.

The trend I see growing in 2020 will be the uptake of asset management by local municipal management. Already in Ontario, Canada, municipalities have been mandated to prepare asset management plans for all of their assets. This will spread in North America.” – Cliff Williams

2020 will be a year of collaborative disruption, and by that, we mean intentional partnerships that will transform existing workflows, so keep your eye out for ways in which you can help design the solution that everyone needs!” – Darren Shelton

Convergence Technologies and Processes to Deliver Unified Outcomes

Currently, we are witnessing EAM technologies evolve from only capturing real-time data to enabling data-driven business decisions. The convergence of technologies and procedures to offer and a single source of truth will empower organizations to make prescriptive, predictive, and automated decisions across the entire organization.

A singular asset strategy, performance, and execution management system delivers uniform and aligned outcomes between planners and executors. This approach is required to make theory into practice.” – Matthew Easlea | @EasleaMatthew

“Customers will want to see dividends paid on past infrastructure investments such as IT and OT convergence. This convergence in concert with intelligent asset management can deliver on the promise of a 360-degree view of the asset from the cradle to the grave.”
Glenn Sawyer

I believe the key trend this year will be around the integration of asset management and the supply chain. The perception that these fields are different needs to be challenged, and the silos must be broken down. Integrating PPM and production schedules using one system of record (SAP) enables these barriers to come down. Using the supply chain asset (SAP) to help change the PM world from being reactive to predictive in a fully integrated manner will breed extra efficiency, flexibility, and velocity in the supply chain.” – David Carroll


The rapid advancements in digital transformation efforts are ushering in many exciting improvements to the EAM market. As identified by the speakers, this year will continue to see the evolution of this market, giving organizations the ability to intelligently manage their overall asset life cycle, cutting costs with more robust analytics and connecting more processes, teams, and technologies.

The SAP-Centric EAM and Supply Chain Conference, happening March 16–18 in San Antonio, will discuss these trends and supply chain management developments through real-life customer case studies, interactive discussion sessions, demos, and SAP-expert presentations. By attending, you will have the chance to connect and collaborate with your EAM and supply chain counterparts on the best strategies to improve the capabilities of your SAP investment and create profitable growth.

Keep up to date on conference content and more by following @sapcentriceam and @SAPCentricSCM on Twitter.