Enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are asset information systems that support the management of an organization's assets. An EAM includes an asset registry (inventory of assets and their attributes) combined with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and other modules (such as inventory or materials management). Assets that are geographically distributed, interconnected or networked, are often also represented through the use of geographic information systems (GIS).
GIS-centric asset registry standardizes data and improves interoperability, providing users the capability to reuse, coordinate, and share information in an efficient and effective manner. A GIS platform combined with information of both the "hard" and "soft" assets helps to remove the traditional silos of departmental functions. While the hard assets are the typical physical assets or infrastructure assets, the soft assets might include permits, licenses, brands, patents, right-of-ways, and other entitlements or valued items.
The EAM system is only one of the 'enables' to good asset management. Asset managers need to make informed decisions in order to fulfill their organizational goals, this requires good asset information but also leadership, clarity of strategic priorities, competencies, inter-departmental collaboration and communications, workforce, and supply chain engagement, risk and change management systems, performance monitoring and continual improvement.