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A Digital Future for the Infrastructure Industry

Nobody contests the enormous potential benefits that digital transformation can bring to infrastructure owners, operators, and consumers. There are numerous usage cases. The value can be measured. There are a lot of capabilities. Why then does infrastructure take so long to really adopt digital?

The fact that brownfield infrastructure is notoriously difficult to digitize is one of the difficulties. However, the business case isn't always solid. Data quality is frequently a problem. Timelines for investments, resource commitments, and legacy system integration are other issues that many older assets face. Also, they must be able to estimate the possible advantages, which may include improved data, improved operational management, and improved planning.

Regulations that were in existence when the asset was developed and designed frequently limit the capacity to optimize existing assets. Nonetheless, by utilizing data analytics tools effectively and implementing more recent technology like smart meters, preventative maintenance programmers, and optimization tools, many brownfield owners are still able to significantly enhance their asset management.

On the greenfield side, there is no justification. Digital technology should be included into every stage and component of infrastructure development in this case, from initial design and planning all the way through to operation and final closure. Every participant in the ecosystem and the value chain should be brought together around dependable data sources. Performance, monitoring, and reporting ought to be driven by it.

It ought to serve as the de facto cornerstone of each physical asset.

It is evident that many business owners, operators, and investors desire this. People in charge of maximizing the efficiency and performance of infrastructure assets want to use digital dashboards for monitoring and reporting, IoT for predictive maintenance, and AI to improve decision-making. Yet, for that to happen, data must be moving through each node of the value chain, across the asset lifespan, and between operational silos. And to do that, developers, builders, and designers must join forces.

Whether infrastructure owners, procuring agencies, investors, and operators are prepared to pay for it and whether they can provide the necessary incentives into their supply chain to promote digital design and cooperation is the key question.

The ability to transfer their digital capabilities into practical insight and value creation is the next important question, and it depends on whether they have the necessary knowledge and expertise.

We anticipate that contractors and developers will be under intense pressure this year to improve their digital capabilities and connect into the larger value chain. In order to get true value from data, more infrastructure players will likely try to combine data with experience. Yet, development will probably continue to be slower than most owners and operators anticipate. It will be crucial to find the accelerator.

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