Allocating scarce resources is much more difficult during tough economic times like those from which we’re emerging.
But it must be done. To remain internationally competitive while preserving a quality of life envied around the world, we must better manage the nation’s $13 trillion worth of public buildings and infrastructure assets.
Putting data to use
Government agencies have always been awash in data, but they’ve lacked effective ways to capture and use the information. They’ve had to adapt their processes to technological solutions that lacked key functionality and workability.
Today, those limitations are gone. Modern applications support integration among and across agencies while enabling public participation.
Cities, counties, special districts, townships, and states can cost-effectively harness the empirical data these stakeholders generate to prioritize investment based on risk reduction, optimal safety, energy reduction, and potential economic impact.
The information must be converted from paper to electronic format for use in asset-management software. Once that’s done, however, digitization tracks inventories and condition data, standards, safety signage, maintenance histories, and lifecycle costs and documents the decision-making process.
To optimize the benefits of digitization, public agencies must also address the operational and IT silos that hamper GIS and work-management systems. In this era of shrinking resources and higher expectations, they must evaluate their options for improving business practices.
Next page: Think outside the box