The world is currently experiencing a fourth industrial revolution due to the rapid development of technologies and digital abundance such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing, etc. Gaining more from existing assets is incredibly vital. It awfully will be more cost-effective to add to the overall value of mature infrastructure through digital enhancements than by physical enhancements; physical enhancements add `more of the same', whereas digital enhancements can enormously transform the existing as well.
What is Smart Infrastructure?
This digitally enhanced infrastructure is otherwise what is termed Smart Infrastructure. Smart Infrastructure, therefore, is the result of integrating physical infrastructures (Transport, Energy, Telecommunications, etc.) with digital infrastructures (Sensors, Big data, Internet of things, etc.). This helps to deliver a better performance at lower costs, gaining more from existing assets and enhancing service provision despite constrained finance and growing resource scarcity.
Smart Infrastructure will allow owners and operators to get more out of what they already have, will increase capacity, efficiency, and resilience and improve services to provide better whole life value. Smart Infrastructure has the potential to make a revolutionary impact on the efficient use of existing infrastructure as well as new build, a challenge and opportunity that is worth between £2trn - £4.8trn globally and I tell you –that’s incredibly huge.
Why Smart Infrastructure?
Three very significant reasons:
Increased capacity, efficiency, reliability, and resilience.
Getting more from existing assets will enable owners and operators to enhance service provision despite constrained finance, growing resource scarcity and, in mature economies, short supply of green field space.
A better understanding of the performance of our infrastructure will allow the new infrastructure to be designed and delivered more efficiently, to provide better whole-life value.
Degree of Opportunity
Vince Lombardi once said, "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." As far as the infrastructure sector is concerned Smart Infrastructure is set to become an inconceivably mammoth new sector for entrepreneurial assessment and opportunistic appropriation.
Aaron Patzer, internet entrepreneur, Founder, and CEO of Mint.com, once said: “Turn a perceived risk into an asset." Remarkably visionary and audacious entrepreneurs must rise to the plate and seize this extraordinary but transient moment in history and take advantage of the numerous tremendous viabilities of Smart Infrastructure because early adopters will get the most benefits.
Change is inevitable, and progress is optional, but ultimately, it’ll be the ‘Smart Entrepreneurs’ who will reap the most rewards and take home the most remunerations of ‘Smart Infrastructure’. Sectors ready for Smart Infrastructure are exceedingly broad some of which include finance, retail, health, education, and the press. Specific sectors within broader industries have been rocked by new entrants – taxi operations for instance.
In manufacturing, humans stand side by side with robots in the workplace, while lawyers and doctors, for example, are seeing more of their work performed by machines. Another high value-added opportunity will be the ability to make sense of data and work out how to use that information to drive better performance from infrastructure assets.
The article was written by T.T UDU REV., Entrepreneurial Consultant, Educator, Coach, Mentor, Columnist, Author of three prodigious entrepreneurial books: Gold Finger, Obsessed with wealth and The Opportunist.