Think ‘digital first’ on infrastructure projects, says survey

Digital capabilities can be used to improve infrastructure project performance

The digital skills gap is one of the biggest barriers to digital integration in major infrastructure projects, a survey has found.

Some 83% of those working on major infrastructure programmes across the world, responding to a Turner & Townsend survey, identified the skills gap as a major problem.

In total, 62% said their programmes had a digital strategy in place. And 71% said digital was failing to meet their requirements.

Nearly a third said data was undervalued and being underused, and just 42% said data was used to manage performance. Only 10% held data as a tangible asset on their balance sheet.

In terms of cyber security, 80% felt it was not fit for purpose and fewer than 30% had a cyber and disaster management plan in place.

Global head of infrastructure, Murray Rowden, said: “The current expectations being placed on infrastructure to transform our world are considerable – from powering economic growth to tackling the climate crisis and equalling out societal outcomes. 

“Achieving this means using every lever at our disposal, and it’s clear there is more the industry can be doing to harness the power of digital. Our survey findings have reinforced this view and are confident in the capacity of digitalisation to unlock greater productivity, security and sustainability. 

“To reach this full potential, clients need to think ‘digital first’ – embedding digital from the earliest stages, integrating it throughout programmes, and ensuring it is fundamental to business strategy.”

Turner & Townsend surveyed 100 experts working on major infrastructure programmes across the world as part of its Transforming performance of major programmes series of work.

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