State of the nation report sets out impact of digital transformation on the UK

The Institution of Civil Engineers has published its State of the Nation 2017 report, looking at how advances in digital technology and data are transforming how infrastructure is designed, delivered and operated. The report claims that digital transformation is bringing benefits to clients and end users as well as unlocking economic growth and productivity across the UK. The report, based on interviews with 350 organisations and industry figures discusses the practical steps firms and government need to take to maintain momentum and truly harness the benefits.

The key recommendations of the report are:

  • Unlock the productivity potential of digital transformation
  • Digital transformation should be at the heart of the infrastructure pillar in government industrial strategy.
  • The £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund should be targeted at digital transformation of both construction (digital delivery) and infrastructure (smart infrastructure) to increase capacity and performance of existing assets and networks.
  • Regulatory frameworks across all infrastructure sectors should incentivise whole life investment decisions based on the needs of the end user.
  • Encourage a step change in organisational culture and leadership in industry
  • ICE and other professional institutions must work with industry and government to ensure that people at all points in their career have the right skills to adapt.
  • Clients, contractors and government should use infrastructure projects, big and small, as incubators for skills and innovation.
  • Clients should insist that data is identified, collected, stored and shared in the right way by everyone working on a project as part of the procurement process.
  • Future proof our infrastructure networks
  • Cyber and physical security considerations must be at the centre of industry thinking in order to keep up with evolving security threats.
  • As infrastructure decisions are increasingly made at local level we need to invest in improving the quality of local asset data. This well help improve understanding of the interdependencies between different assets and how that changes with increased connectivity.
  • The National Infrastructure Commission should set out a needs-based strategy to align energy and digital infrastructure policy.
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