It’s Time to Bring Engineering Systems into the 21st Century

For too long, engineering systems have been treated as a special snowflake when it comes to technical support, systems administration and maintenance.

Unlike other business domains, which have rapidly adopted industry frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT, and professional service management tools to deliver best practice IT service management (ITSM) outcomes, engineering systems remain isolated, suffering from a lack of transparency, automation and predictability.

There are many factors contributing to this current state of affairs, not the least of which is the highly niche and vertical nature of the associated software products. Those of us who have been in the industry for more than 20 years can easily recall purpose-built computers and accessories that required individualised professional care just to keep the lights on, and today’s typical engineering systems management methods clearly reflect this heritage.

Outsiders looking in are often puzzled by the antiquated approaches and disorganised processes used to manage these solutions, but genuine efforts to transform the domain are typically stymied due to well-grounded fears of breaking fragile production environments. These fears are in turn triggered by a lack of detailed technical understanding of the way in which the software works from the IT and infrastructure perspective, leading to a vicious cycle from which few escape.

This special treatment comes at a high cost to the organisation overall in terms of reliability, flexibility and scalability, as well as within the engineering department itself. These costs become increasingly significant in the face of the ever-shifting demands of projects and the cyclical market for engineering and design services, especially by preventing organisations from taking advantage of some of the great leaps forward in IT such as cloud computing and business process outsourcing.

At TecSurge, we believe it’s overdue for engineering systems to be brought into the sunlight and treated with the same rigour and attention applied to other business areas when it comes to ITSM. We know from experience that there’s no longer any magic required to maintain and support engineering systems reliably and professionally, and that applying disciplined IT service management practices to the domain can and does deliver results.

We are proud to sponsor HxGN and present innovation that benefits the industry overall. Please come and visit us at booth 307 or via our website at

Providing solutions to gain predictability and control over engineering systems – now that’s shaping smart change.


Patrick Mackinlay
Principal Consultant

patrickPatrick Mackinlay, Principal Consultant at TecSurge, directs product management and technology for the company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Curtin University, and has over 20 years of experience in the plant design industry.

Prior to joining TecSurge, Patrick held senior technical and consulting roles with NRX and Intergraph, after nine years with a number of EPCs as a systems analyst and administrator.


This post is part of the Thought Leader program at HxGN LIVE. Find out how you can get involved at HxGN LIVE 2017 here.

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