Industry Expertise: The Importance of a Unified Asset Inventory for Disaster Recovery

When utilities are impacted by technical and natural disasters, it’s crucial for operations to be restored as quickly as possible. A unified asset database can help utilities in their disaster recovery plan as it provides a complete overview of every asset in the organization. Visibility into the attributes of each asset, the relationships between them, and the services running over them facilitates restoration processes and supports the efficient management of operations and business processes.  

A unified asset database can consistently record asset locations across different domains and can identify all assets at a given location, which provides better visibility into potentially affected assets and services. Redundancies to mitigate or circumvent outages at a specific location can also be quickly identified, offering an accurate impact analysis based on all these relationships and dependencies. 

Such a database provides a shared understanding of routing across all active transport and passive infrastructure layers and can supply all relevant processes with accurate network and service data. In the case of an outage, impact analysis can be run immediately that considers network redundancies and identifies all affected services. A unified asset database can also assist with the management of spare parts to ensure that technicians have the proper devices with them when they are deployed into the field to fix a problem.  

Since an asset register provides a full picture of each asset’s dependencies and of other assets that rely upon its functioning, the full impact of an outage can be understood, and ripple effects can be identified quickly. It’s also possible to run outage simulations of key assets using a digital twin of the infrastructure.  

As a digital twin is a copy of the network contained in the asset database, these simulations can give a detailed understanding of the assets affected by an outage, including assets directly affected by the outage and secondary outages in other services that are dependent on the asset. When digital twin simulations are used to identify the effects of key outages, they can also identify and fix previously unknown single points of failure or weak resiliency to prevent an outage from occurring in the future. 

Read more in our article featured in UTC Journal.