Are You Being Held to Ransom by Your Technology?
By Michael Zink June 12, 2017 Reading time:
Do you want to modernise your business and give your passengers a satisfying experience, but find it difficult to make change happen because your technology is holding you back?
The rapid technological evolution in vehicles, software, hardware and components has drastically increased our capacity to collect not just more data, but more kinds of data.
However, this data is often trapped in individual systems that cannot integrate. If you have not kept your technology up to date, the price your organisation pays is the opportunity cost of realising this data’s potential.
Legacy technology frequently results in the following challenges:
- Backward compatibility: Old hardware usually does not have the right input/output or enough CPU power to process the features of new software; potentially these old devices ay not even be able to integrate with the newer technology. Also, it is likely that all the hardware’s integration points are already fully occupied and expansion is not possible.
- Business continuity: If your back-end systems are out of date and their data is sitting in isolated siloes, this will impair your organisation’s capability for business analytics and future integration with modern software such as EAM. Technological obsolescence will have a negative flow-on effect on your organisation’s decision-making and innovativeness.
- Untapped data: If the data from your in-vehicle equipment and your other systems for operations, scheduling, enterprise asset management and passenger information does not integrate, you are missing a chance to get valuable business intelligence (BI) out of it. It is vital to have real time data integration throughout your organisation to be effective, innovative and extraordinary.
Simply put, legacy systems will do nothing but maintain your status quo until something breaks irreparably or becomes so outdated that it cannot work in a contemporary IT environment. Your old technology may get the job done for now, but it won’t help you keep up with competitors or commuter expectations.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
Using modern, integrated hardware and software systems to collect, share and analyse data offers a great deal of value and a competitive edge to your organisation.
Some of the possibilities that a solid technological platform opens to you are:
- Improved capability to optimise routes and schedules or offer more attractive ticket prices based on the analysis of integrated data from in-vehicle equipment and back office systems.
- Build better business cases for additional funding for expansion projects using stop-level data for every route, which you can obtain from your integrated intelligent transport system (ITS) and automated fare collection (AFC) system.
- Quicker reporting; for example, Sound Transit cut reporting time from 3 months to less than 3 days by moving their partner agencies and suppliers onto an integrated asset management system.
- Increase efficiency so you can get more done with your existing resources. For instance, MARTA replaced its legacy asset and maintenance management system and experienced numerous benefits including an estimated 70% time saving.
With the pace of technological advancements ever increasing, it is no longer a question of what you stand to gain from modernising: it’s what you stand to lose if you don’t.
Getting Started With Innovation
While a complete overhaul of all systems and equipment simultaneously is certainly not realistic, incremental improvements and gradual modernisation is the key to keeping your organisation up to date.
Choosing a modular software that allows you to implement it gradually across your business will help smoothen the process of change and build organisational learning to ensure each implementation goes smoother than the last. Finding a vendor who has experience with large-scale rollouts and working closely with transport operators to train their staff will also help ensure success.
If you are going through a period of rapid capital expansion or growth and need to invest in new technology to remain sustainable, be sure to read these three tips.