Searing pace of digital change’ strikes infrastructure sector

Publish April 13, 2022

The searing pace of technological change in the global engineering, construction and infrastructure sector is increasing faster than ever before, with the potential for new ‘disruptors’ entering the market.

The disruptors are driving changes to business models across the sector leading to many new challenges and opportunities for companies, says International engineering federation FIDIC.

FIDIC’s latest State of the World Report, Digital disruption and the evolution of the infrastructure sector, the sixth in the series of reports on the key infrastructure issues facing the world, explores the pace of technological change, highlighting that not only is the pace of change significant, but that new entrants to a dynamic digital market mean that many of the technology companies used today may not be those that the industry has to deal with in ten years’ time.

Role of technology

The report also discusses the role of technology as a potential disrupter to the engineering, construction and infrastructure sector and the potential for this to make companies and the sector as a whole change their business models as a result of shifts in technology, data and how customers and clients access and use information in the future.

The Digital disruption and the evolution of the infrastructure sector report makes a series of recommendations to help the sector embrace current and future technological challenges and engage proactively going forward. They are:

*Using FIDIC’s newly established Global Leadership Forum, research will be commissioned on providing a wider and more strategic view of what the infrastructure sector will look like over future years to consider the technology and data findings in this report.

*FIDIC will develop templates to assist its member associations and also engineering firms to develop structures to help them manage their social media and communications for both internal and external strategies.

*FIDIC has established a new Digital Transformation Committee to monitor and aid the sector in meeting the challenges of meeting the sustainable development goals and net zero in the light of the industry’s ongoing and future technological and data developments.

*The new FIDIC Digital Transformation Committee will create a task group to deliver a digital version for all FIDIC contracts by working with industry partners and education establishments.

Crucial issue

Commenting on the launch of the report, FIDIC president Tony Barry said: “This report deals with a crucial issue for our industry, that of digital transformation, which has the potential to influence significant changes to the way we work and do business. It asks the key question of whether our sector embraces data and technology to become one that provides a progressive set of solutions, with companies embracing technology and new ways of working or whether there are areas of the sector where disruptors are likely to take hold. These are key questions for our industry and I look forward to this report adding and augmenting the discussions we are all grappling with around these important issues.”

FIDIC chief executive Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “Change in whatever form it takes will always happen and the highly evolving digital and technology sector means that this change is taking place at a faster pace than ever before. FIDIC is keen to ensure that as a global sector we facilitate open discussions on the key issues we face and take a proactive role in influencing how that change occurs to ensure we get the best outcomes for the wider infrastructure sectors, clients and end consumers while continuing to meet the significant challenge of meeting the sustainable development goals and net zero.

“FIDIC will ensure that this latest report continues to form a growing bank of evidence and engagement with the widest set of stakeholders in the infrastructure sector on digital and technology issues to ensure that we can meet the significant challenges ahead of us.


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