4 Steps to Create a Smart Installation

With the constant advances in connected devices, mapping technologies, and sensors, we’re also witnessing a rise in communities that take advantage of these innovations. In our recent GovLoop and Esri online training series, Ben Conklin, Defense Industry Manager, explained how those advancements are changing the way different organizations manage property and assets for a government organization efficiently

Communities are becoming “smart” through the Internet of Things (IoT)– they are more connected and digitally enabled to all their assets. That allows community leaders to monitor all aspects of their operations, make smarter planning decisions, control all their assets with fewer resources.

Many government facilities are feeling left behind in the rapid evolution of IoT, according to Conklin. They see the best practices of Smart Communities and want to mimic them. A smart installation will use technology to solve problems. Specifically, they will use a geographic information system (GIS) that facilitates information sharing and gives everyone a common understanding of the installation’s operation.

Conklin explained four steps that these organizations can take to leverage technology to bring the Smart Community ideal to any government installation.

  1. Use a world-class GIS platform to track and monitor assets with accuracy. Location plays a key role in the management and operation of installations. To apply spatial thinking to installation needs and use location as a tool to inform decisions, installation leaders should invest in a world-class GIS platform to track millions of real property assets, and map thousands of square miles of federal lands. This solution needs to serve planners, engineers, architects, public works, facilities managers, and decision makers. It also needs to support workflows such as collecting data, analyzing and performing what-if scenarios against information, improving operational awareness, and improving field operations.
  2. Build a location strategy to analyze and plan management strategies. Next, determine where the highest need areas are in your installation and where a robust GIS platform can have the most valuable impact. When you’re just starting your smart installation journey, it’s important to prioritize your efforts. As you progress, you can revisit this step and expand which assets and strategies you apply GIS technology to. This whitepaper from Esri offers a number of tips to help get your locations strategy off the ground.
  1. Deliver real solutions to control faculties management operations . Once you have a platform in place, and a strategy to use it, it’s time to really deploy solutions. The ArcGIS application has more than 150 ready-to-use applications to get you started.  If you find you have a more specific need, the Esri Global Partner Organization can help you customize an application to individual requirements. For installations that may be dealing with unique environments or security requirements, this ability is key to gaining traction with GIS.
  2. Develop strategic parternships to drive efficiency. “Maps are a common language for sharing,” said Conklin. One of the biggest benefits of using GIS platforms is the ability to connect users within and across organizations. However, even with that collaboration, some installation leaders may need more assistance to make the most of GIS. In those cases, consider moving beyond your organization.

Seek communities of practice between planners, engineers, environmentalist, security, base operations to drive efficiencies using maps that run your base operations.   Esri offers a number of channels, including meet-ups and online portals, that allow users to share and combine best practices and disciplines. Take advantage of the Esri community and reach out to the partner organizations you have access to through the ArcGIS platform.

“Every community can be a smart community in just four steps,” said Conklin. The same is true of installations. By creating a location strategy and using a GIS platform, installations can transform their operations.

A Smart Installation improves operational readiness by providing shared understanding of all the operations on an installation. It creates a sustainable environment while promoting a high quality of life through the same framework as Smart Communities.

Want to learn more about how to deploy smart strategies? Check out the full-length online training here and visit Esri’s Smart Communities website here.


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