This report is called Digital Reality because despite what many people think, digital is no longer the technology of the future. It is here now and changing the world in a multitude of ways, some predictable and others completely unforeseen.
The digital reality has also been described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, is clear about the importance of digitalisation. “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another,” he writes. “In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”
“The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent,” he adds. “When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.”
Infrastructure is no exception. With more than 20 billion devices set to be connected to the Internet by 2020, many businesses, while aware that there are huge opportunities out there, don’t know exactly where to start.
“Digital gives us the opportunity to do the fundamentals of what we do now better, and it also allows us to do new things that people have not yet thought about,” says Phil Gruber, Atkins’ Global Leader for Digital Asset Management.
The first step is to harness all the information your company is generating and gain greater insight into your assets and their condition. The next step, which is much more difficult, is to use that data to work out where you can make efficiencies or create new products and services.