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Analysis of software solutions for strategic asset management

With strategic asset management getting more and more complex, software-based solutions have become an integral tool for many railway infrastructure managers. To assess, which tools are the right fit for Banedanmark, civity has supported the Danish railway infrastructure manager in identifying suitable software solutions for strategic asset management and long-term planning of maintenance and renewal activities in particular.

Most railway infrastructure managers face large investment volumes required for their maintenance and renewal activities. However, they are opposed by several constraints such as limited human resources, budgetary restrictions, and shortcomings in the supply chain. Consequently, strategic asset management is essential, including a long-term financial planning with a future-focused lifecycle modelling approach. Based on the given constraints, software-based solutions can support infrastructure managers with their strategic asset management for optimizing the maintenance and renewal activities.

Our support for Banedanmark comprised three specific phases:

  • First, in a joint workshop, civity and Banedanmark analysed a list of high-level requirements that a software solution shall ideally fulfil, applying the method of user stories. Subsequently, the high-level requirements were categorized into six assessment criteria ranging from functionalities and usability to maintainability and compatibility.
  • Afterwards, civity conducted several structured market dialogues with both software providers that offer software solutions for strategic asset management and European infrastructure managers.
  • The findings of the structured market dialogues were then translated into the framework of assessment criteria. On this base, we undertook a fit gap analysis for each software solution – in order to better understand, to what extend they meet the given requirements.

The market dialogues revealed that only few software providers offer specific software solutions for the railway sector. Moreover, only few provide the functionalities that also take into account the particular use cases of Banedanmark in particular, and possibly railway infrastructure managers in general. Although none of the software solutions met all requirements, significant improvements for the strategic asset management can be expected with most of them. Thus, well thought-out software solutions contribute to a considerable simplification of long-term financial planning for maintenance and renewal activities of railway infrastructure.