Megatrends such as changing demographics, climate change and technology are re-shaping future infrastructure needs. Technology has changed the challenges of infrastructure. It has become disruptive – and powerful source of innovation and renewal for the industry. Population growth has meant we are faced with responding to the challenges that arise from this issue. We are also met with opportunities that rapidly arise to create long and short-term solutions.
“Technology has the ability to completely change the infrastructure that we need … We need to make sure we’re building the right infrastructure for the future. That way we can ensure that our level of prosperity and living standards are protected into the future”, says Paul Foxlee, Partner and National Head of Transport and Infrastructure, KPMG Australia. As our populations grow and the world changes existing infrastructure will be put under pressure and our future infrastructure requirements will be dramatically reshaped. Transport, energy, water and telecommunications, along with social infrastructure will all be impacted.
Harnessing the power of technology is key. For example, driverless vehicles and the establishment of secondary employment hubs could significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road and the need for more road infrastructure.
There are five themes that capture the technological trends reshaping infrastructure requirements:
- Embedding technology into infrastructure assets
- System integration and management
- Disruptive technology innovation
- Technology impacting how people use infrastructure
- Technology impacting how businesses use infrastructure
- The paper includes case studies for each of these themes showing them in action.
If we are unable to innovate, Australia and New Zealand’s productivity and future prosperity will suffer. Success will be achieved by a collective response in which business, communities and government work together to adapt and lead improvements and innovation.