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Annual review 2022

Three minute insights:

Digital delivery

There are plenty of examples to show the risks of big investment in the wrong solutions – nobody wants to be in that position. Yet to delay may result in missing an opportunity or becoming exposed to risks in a fast-evolving operating environment.”

Darren Russell, chief digital officer

Darren Russell

What are the emerging hot issues?

Digitalisation provides a new toolset for tackling many longstanding challenges as well as new ones. Managing cost and schedule-related risks to bring projects in on budget and time is a key opportunity for digitally enabled improvement, particularly as the global energy crunch and post-pandemic labour shortages drive ongoing construction input cost inflation. There are also fast-evolving needs to plan for climate resilience and cut capital and operational carbon.

Digitalisation is itself evolving fast and that presents practical challenges, to achieve cost-effective investment in practical, value-adding digital technologies, solutions, skills and ways of working: The adoption of innovation must be linked to outcomes. That involves acquiring the knowledge to make the right choices and invest, gain benefits, and build capability and confidence.

We’re working with clients globally, across all sectors, to select, develop, apply and manage digital solutions that add value. Launched in 2018, our Moata digital platform truly came of age in 2022. It now hosts 20 solutions, is used by over 4000 users and has been deployed to over 100 clients.

Our project case studies show how Moata solutions are being used to optimise and transform design and construction by Transport for London, High Speed 2 and Anglian Water’s @OneAlliance in the UK, and Transport for New South Wales in Australia; for flood management in Bangkok, Thailand; and to assess water industry carbon emissions in New Zealand.

In January 2022 we formed a partnership with Envision Digital, a company specialising in digital instrumentation, data acquisition and data management, to drive energy efficiency, carbon reduction and asset optimisation for port, airport, water, renewable energy/energy storage and industrial clients. Our ‘domain’ knowledge in these fields guides what to monitor, what to look for, and how to use the insights gained from data analysis.

Why will these issues be keeping clients awake at night?

Most of our clients recognise that embracing digital solutions and methodologies could help them meet their business goals and deliver improved outcomes for their customers, but many are not sure how best to move forward. There are plenty of examples from all parts of the economy to show the risks of big investment in the wrong solutions – and nobody wants to be in that position. Yet to delay may result in missing an opportunity or becoming exposed to risks in a fast-evolving operating environment.

How are clients affected?

Asset owners and operators need help maximising the performance and value of existing infrastructure, demonstrating regulatory compliance, informing customers and stakeholders, building strong business cases for new construction, and maintaining strong relationships with investors. Better-informed decisions help control expenditure and improve returns on investment, which clearly benefits investors as well as owners. Investors also require ever stronger reporting on agendas that matter to them, including environmental, social and governance, carbon reduction and climate resilience. Meanwhile, constructors and developers benefit from the efficiency potential of digital construction – starting with improved competitiveness when bidding for work, to improved risk management and cost control during project delivery.

What are the benefits of acting?

Improved performance at system level: We continue to work on the modernisation of New York’s JFK Airport. In addition to physical master planning we’re guiding the airport’s use of digital solutions to improve day-to-day operational management – a piece of work focused on collaborative working and information management more than technology selection. The airport is working to re-establish itself as a world-leading aviation hub.

Better return on investment: In 2022 our ‘Smart Object Library’, hosted on our digital platform Moata, won multiple industry awards. It is being used by clients in the rail, water and environment sectors to achieve substantial design cost and time savings. The library holds thousands of pre-designed components and assets that can be ‘copied and pasted’ to produce concept and outline designs to a high level of detail, including indicative costs and carbon emissions. This provides clients with robust benchmarks against which to evaluate tenders and incentivise efficiency savings. As designs are refined and improved, they can be uploaded into the library for future use.

In 2022 we launched a new Moata solution, People and Planet, to help our clients evaluate social and environmental impacts, opportunities and outcomes. This marks a move far beyond conventional ‘do no harm’ assessments and compliance with regulatory requirements. People and Planet recognises that every project creates opportunities to achieve social and environmental benefits, and that when they do, projects tend to work better for clients, users and investors alike.

How can we help?

Leading edge digital thinking matched with deep engineering domain expertise allows us to deliver efficient and sustainable solutions to some of our clients’ most pressing challenges.

We also help our clients develop their digital maturity requires a new skillset and we support clients with a multi-sector advisory service. It gives clients access to over a decade of expertise in pioneering digital solutions and ways of working, which includes many of the industry’s leading practitioners in the fields of smart infrastructure, digital twins, augmented delivery and artificial intelligence applied to construction and infrastructure management.


Annual review 2022

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