Resource Management Developments in 2019

AI, Machine Learning and the IoT Will Continue to Make Their Marks

Emerging technology is making its presence felt across every business function, and the resource management world is no different.

Technology is changing the way we work. That’s a sentence that has been uttered a million times in a million different industries over the past 20 years. It is as true now as it was in the 1990s, when businesses were only just entering the technological age as we now know it. But while the sentiment might be the same, the challenges, the innovations and the impacts they have on the way we go about our work are very different with every passing year.

When it comes to project management, and in particular, the resource management software that underpins it, there are plenty of tools and techniques that are leading to wholesale changes, but they broadly fall into two categories. The first is the Internet of Things and the second is artificial intelligence. Let’s take a closer look at each to understand the direction in which they are leading the resource management sector.

Integrated technology with the IoT

People love to overcomplicate the IoT, but conceptually it could not be simpler.  It simply refers to the interconnectedness of individual devices via WiFi, Bluetooth or the internet. The notion captures the imagination in a domestic setting, with people envisaging the fridge telling the home hub that you are running out of milk and ordering more for you, or your calendar telling the alarm clock what time you need to get up for an important meeting.

But while the business applications for IoT might sound a little less Star Trek, they could be even more profound. In resource management, IoT technology will provide a mechanism to integrate physical resources such as tools, equipment and machinery with the underlying resource management infrastructure, creating a whole network of devices of various types that are all communicating with each other as to their location, availability, servicing and calibration needs and so on. This will result in dynamic, adaptive and real time project management processes.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Mention Artificial Intelligence, and again, the mind is drawn to science fiction. The truth, however, is that AI is already a powerful tool in many sectors. And it is still in its infancy.

AI is defined as technology that can make complex decisions without external input. Machine learning is a specific subset of AI that has been developed to meet the growing needs of the big data age. It is a process whereby a computer program can analyse immense datasets, creating its own rules and algorithms on the basis of the trends that emerge.

The implications for resource managers here are obvious. One of the biggest challenges they face is to optimise the use and distribution of the resources at their disposal in order to get maximum efficiency.

Machine learning algorithms are perfect for analysing all that data that is arriving from the IoT connected devices mentioned earlier. It can then go about identifying usage trends and patterns that will automate and streamline resource allocation and deployment.

Not only will it improve efficiency, it will also free up the time of resource management personnel, allowing them to focus on more strategic value-adding tasks.

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