3-Step Approach to Interoperable Asset Ecosystems

...by Greg L Towne

If you don’t have a single view of your Asset Master Data; everything you do increases your technical and business debt while reducing your chances of remaining valid.

A Connected Interoperable Asset Ecosystem

Digital transformation is a business-model reinvention that requires different functions (Silos) across the organisation to work together in new ways (or remove steps completely through automation of a complete function) and can happen only through ‘smart’ investments in building an entirely new set of interoperable capabilities within an ecosystem.

Digital Transformation is not just a destination; it’s a permanent state of operating based on learning and adapting faster than the competition. But that can only happen if leaders

  • act as digital guardians of their business transformation

  • maintain a strong focus on their assets and related Asset Master Data, and

  • enact subsequent asset life cycle management in a timely and consistently aligned manner.

In order to develop a Data-driven, Asset focused real-time decision-making capability, Enterprises need to build a ‘Change & Adoption Board’ comprising business process and data Stewards for Governance, and a ‘System of Systems’ capability mindset that monitors and controls successful change.

The 3-Step Strategic Approach for Interoperable Asset Ecosystems

Step 1

Develop a strategy to automate the mundane activities, as more than 80% of activity across an organisation is very similar; therefore, automation can be very effective and achieved by:

  • Developing Standards for all Asset Data usage within and across the organisation and partners

  • Identifying critical processes (not just repetitive activities) and reduce mistakes while increasing speed and agility

  • Enhancing and supporting decision-making capabilities with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and

  • Machine Learning (ML) technologies that can be guided by your own heuristics if necessary and improved or guided over time

  • Coupling processes to AI and ML with consistency via agreed business rules and workflows

  • Developing and deploying a persona-based UI/UX with low cognitive loads that are rapid to build or configure and deploy, whilst ensuring supportive User buy-in.


This strategy can easily relate to the 80/20 Rule and immediately improve productivity by 20% across the Plan > Design > Build > Operate > Maintain Asset Lifecycle.

Step 2

Set tactics to reduce Technical Debt and Re-imagine alignment to business value by:

  • Painting a picture of the critical operational processes and the critical assets used; then agree and adopt as a key focus point

  • Instigating methods to reduce ‘friction’ between functional business domains; especially supporting processes such as Finance, Supply Chain, HR, and Safety

  • Prioritising and sharing processes and data under the governance of Process and Data Stewards

  • Developing an operating model where technology and business collaborate on developing and delivering digital products and services in support of critical infrastructure

  • Adopting Digital Interoperability Platforms that focus on real-time value and openness, can be deployed quickly, whilst avoiding Vendor lock-in.


Reduced Technical Debt, significant new ROI, and interoperable capability with everyone who is engaged (either internally or externally) with the organisation; they all now speak in an understandable and common language that is framed towards the same business goals.

Reduced Technical Debt, Increased Value and ROI

Better Data Quality, Better AI/ML Decision Making, Quantum Leaps in Productivity

DirigerHUB Benefits & Impacts

  • Decision Validation through AI/ML and Workflow / Business Rule Engines

  • Scalable Industry Standard frameworks connecting many systems at once (eg. OIIE)

  • Data Orchestration from multiple sources with real-time Data Analytics & Reporting

  • Provides Governance processes such as Management of Change

  • Significantly shortens development and deployment effort and time

  • Extends Legacy system life or simplifies transitions

Step 3

Once the Enterprise capability is optimised via Step 2 capability, extend the capability via a progressive approach to promote flexible adoption and continued value-add through planning and mobilising a platform that:

Adopts a methodology for long term governance, management of change, and user buy-in

  • Provides the right environment and capability for extensibility, eg. utilise collaborative

  • adaptors that comply to an industry framework such as the OIIE (Open Industry Interoperability Ecosystem)

  • Focuses on extendable business models and analytics that assist continuous improvement, ie.

  • deploy metrics that easily recalibrate and re-align with business objectives

  • Provides ‘One’ tool that extends interoperability in a manner that

      • enhances internal communications and actions

      • automatically and speedily intervenes with erroneous data when required

      • maintains business focused clarity through business rules and workflows

      • is flexible and cognisant of legacy environments, eg. allows for extension of legacy systems or provides staged replacement options


A ‘System of Systems’ where every system and data source is connected and completely interoperable; each activity within this ecosystem is automated; interchangeable processes and data are now managed, controlled, and measured against a common baseline.

Basic Capability of a ‘System of Systems’ Interoperability Platform

About Diriger and DirigerHUB

Diriger is an Industry 4.0 Solution Services Provider using smart technology with our Business Process Automation approach, our knowledge, and our expertise in ERP and EAM systems including Ellipse, IFS, Maximo, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP.

Diriger’s genesis has been around building new innovative solutions for various Asset Intensive Industries; these solutions not only integrate with existing ERP/EAM/CMMS technologies, but automate processes for cohesive levels of interoperability across multiple legacy systems. In order to maximise the outcomes of this need; Diriger developed its own modern interoperability Platform (DirigerHUB) and hence, furthered our interest and involvement in the Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE).

DirigerHUB is the foundational platform for all our application development and deployment outcomes and one of the only such platforms used extensively for extremely large and complex multi-system asset management interoperability solutions.

About the Author...

Greg Towne is a Co-Founder of Diriger with 35+ years of experience implementing Enterprise Resource Planning solutions and Business Process Improvement Initiatives in Mining, Utilities, Energy and Defence industries. He is dedicated to working closely with our Customer’s in order to help them solve the BIG problems that have been in play for far too many years.