Studying ACCA APM? Here's a tip for the day on the Internet of things - a new topic in the syllabus

Updated: Aug 11

EXTRACT from Geoff Cordwell’s new APM material topic 10

There are many different IT systems mentioned in the syllabus with a few additions in 2020.

APM is not about becoming an information technology (IT) or information systems (IS) expert but:


1.     You must know what the IT and IS is and what it does, but critically:

2.     You must appreciate the impact that new or changing IT will have on performance, and 3.     You must appreciate what new IT or IS will on the existing performance management systems (PMS) in the business


The majority of the marks lie in step 2 and 3 above.

Generally, the impact the new or changing IT will have on performance will include comments concerning the impact on:



Internet of Things

Let’s consider the application of the above to a new APM syllabus area in 2020– the internet of things.


What is it?

Devices are increasingly technically enabled.  Your car, along with many other devices, is full of self-diagnostic tools, monitors and crucially on-board communication ability.  This means these devices are connected.  Connected to, often, the manufacturer or the service engineer.


This above is core knowledge, but not significantly mark earning.


Impact on performance?

Suppose, by way of example, we are talking about a “connected” car. The connection here is with the manufacturer but remember the manufacturer can connect by extension to the service sector (garages and service centres).


There are various impacts, some financial some not:

·      Alerts can be given on premature component failures by the car itself.

·      Maintenance can be scheduled by the car and alerted to the owner.  With the owner’s permission a service request could be made including the ordering of parts as needed.

·      More focussed servicing.  The garage will already know what is wrong with the car when it enters the garage.

·      Better development focus.  The cars weak links can be identified and the so the manufacturer can focus on those in priority.


Impact on the PMS

Continuing with the above example:

The PMS should be adapted to fit the new environment, the potential effects are:

·      Less need to service analysis from garages to manufacturers.  The cars in built systems can “ping” the manufacturer with fault diagnosis.  This might have the anonymised depending on the privacy issues or the customer might have to give permission for this to happen of course.

·      Budgets for recalls or scheduled repairs are likely to become more accurate.

·      Performance targets might have to be tightened since the better information enables the manufacturer to be more ambitious.


In the APM exam as long as you apply to the scenario any reasonable answer attempt should attract credit.  The above is not, therefore, an exhaustive list.


Conclusion:

You must know what the technology does BUT you must apply that in two ways:

1.     You must appreciate the impact that new or changing IT will have on performance, and:

2.     You must appreciate what new IT or IS will on the existing performance management systems (PMS) in the business.

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