How will IoT, Big Data and AI change maintenance systems?

IoT, Big Data and AI have received a lot of attention in recent years. Even though there is a lot of hype, it is undeniable that these concepts offer tremendous opportunities. In the nearest future, they will allow getting more out of company maintenance systems as well.

When a company sets out to develop its maintenance, easy solutions are usually hard to find. In some cases, a quantum leap from old systems to new is indeed possible, but this needs not be simple. Even if new systems function flawlessly in the technical sense, will this bring about a change in the company’s operating culture?

“The foundations must be in order right from the start,” reminds Niko Pahkala from ALMA.

Data obtained from maintenance compatible with the enterprise resource planning systems constitute indispensable preconditions to efficient utilisation of IoT (Internet of Things), big data and AI (Artificial Intelligence). The data must be of high quality and the associated relations reliable.

Data of poor quality are no longer acceptable

New technologies allow better integration of tacit data available in the company into the systems. At the same time, the system usage rate increases and the usage becomes more systematic.

“Data of better quality and consistency are required. Especially with today’s methods, it is extremely difficult to utilise fragmented data from the viewpoint of big data or with the help of AI. Systems must be able to process and manage data intelligently and automatically.  Systems must also be user-friendly, since no one would willingly use a system offering poor user experience on a regular basis,” Pahkala emphasizes.

A user-friendly system produces added value

In Pahkala’s opinion, novel technologies and methods provide new possibilities. For example, IoT allows automatic importing of relevant data into the systems. The very same data would otherwise have to be input to the systems manually.

“New technologies improve system utilization rates, since work perceived as unpleasant or vain is now done effortlessly. Systems generate more added value than before, which means that it is also worth investing more into their development. This way, technological development sets the wheels of efficiency in motion,” he envisions.

According to Pahkala, in the future, new technologies can be used to combine and process data, and to optimise:

  • work management
  • resourcing
  • materials management
  • acquisitions
  • usage rates
  • total costs
  • risk management
  • occupational safety-related data

Targeting works and resources to the right places at the right time improves the reliability of production.

“In such a case, the company’s maintenance personnel can focus more thoroughly on the core issues and tasks producing added value for the company.”



For more information on maintenance and other corporate data systems, contact ALMA Consulting and Niko Pahkala at niko.pahkala(at)