Opinion

Standards and BIM key to Atkins’ digital evolution

30 June 2019

‘To achieve the transformation required to enable the step change in productivity that we all strive for, we need to move from pockets of innovation to consistent, continuously improved delivery enabled by digital technologies.’ Nick Tune

Nick Tune, digital engineering director at Atkins, explains how the consultant is undergoing digital transformation by adopting BIM Level 2 and the ISO 19650 standard.

Digital transformation is recognised as a critical activity for the survival of businesses in all sectors. This is especially true in the construction market where digital has the potential to make us more efficient and more consistent in our delivery. We have all seen the McKinsey report stating that only hunting and agriculture is less digitally enabled. So how do we make the change?

At Atkins we recognise that digital transformation needs to be built from a solid base of standardised information management processes and technologies: in short, BIM. We know that Building Information Management can provide the bedrock for change.

Like many in the construction sector, we have been championing digital disruption over the last few years which has seen new tools and commercial models developed that have created real value and improved outcomes for clients and end users. However much of this innovation has been in pockets or “digital islands of innovation” so impact has been limited to a few projects and customers.

To achieve the transformation required to enable the step change in productivity that we all strive for, we need to move from pockets of innovation to consistent, continuously improved delivery enabled by digital technologies. This is why our bedrock has to be BIM – it creates the basis for consistent, high-quality digital delivery.

By adopting BIM Level 2 and now ISO 19650 processes of information management across our global business, we believe we’ve created the environment for large-scale transformation at Atkins.

Our newly developed Global Design Framework (GDF) is based on the ISO 19650 BIM standard. It sets out the processes, technology and skills required to deliver a design led project. This provides consistent delivery by project teams across the globe, whilst supporting continuous improvement via feedback loops and measurement of delivery.

With project teams working to consistent information and data formats, processes and toolsets, we can enhance digital delivery via automation and AI at scale. This improved, innovative method of delivery is not the preserve of the few, but thanks to BIM, can be utilised by everyone in the industry. This is digital transformation.