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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

The Value of Information Management in the Construction and Infrastructure Sector, commissioned by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) as a partner of the Construction Innovation Hub and produced by KPMG and Atkins, found evidence of strong organisational benefits that could be enabled by Information Management. 

Advances in digital technologies and data are transforming the functioning of our economy and the way we live our lives. The built environment is becoming smarter, with the rise of intelligent infrastructure – enabled by the use of techniques such as machine learning and artificial intelligence – driving efficiencies, accelerating the transition to net zero and optimising the performance of the nation’s built assets.

Access to information (as data) of the right quality and at the right time, in a format that is trusted by all parties, is increasingly recognised as a critical enabler of the construction sector’s digital transformation, with the potential to both drive down costs in the construction and operation of built assets and drive up quality. However, there remains limited evidence on the holistic benefits of these practices.

How are construction and infrastructure organisations creating, managing and making use of quality and timely information?

What value does this deliver for those organisations as well as their customers and wider stakeholders?

This study has set out to investigate these questions and establish the value of ‘Information Management’ (IM) in the construction and infrastructure sector.

The evidence gathered through this study serves to identify the broad range of potential benefits of investing in IM, and how that investment can potentially contribute to the Government and industry’s shared ambitions for the sector.

Through the study, KPMG and Atkins have undertaken a comprehensive review of existing literature on the benefits of IM and analysed real-world case studies of the use of IM at both the project- and organisation-levels to establish an ‘Information Management Benefits Framework’. The evidence they have gathered suggests that the economic case for investing in IM is threefold, with the use of IM in the sector potentially helping to unlock:

  1. Direct productivity gains for organisations;
  2. Increased growth across the wider UK economy as a result of those productivity gains; and
  3. Social value to customers, wider society and the environment through enabling the delivery of higher quality and more sustainable built assets.

 

Alexandra Bolton, Executive Director at the Centre for Digital Built Britain, said:

“This ground-breaking report sets out the benefits of IM to businesses through increased labour productivity; to the wider economy through driving GDP growth; and to society by improving the quality of outcomes for the end customer, the wider public and the environment. It provides compelling evidence that increasing investment in IM, and a greater focus on and analysis of the wider benefits that it delivers, could not only help to close the sector’s productivity gap, but could also unlock economic, environmental and social gains to create a better future for people and the planet.”

Keith Waller, Programme Director of the Construction Innovation Hub, said: 

“This report clearly underlines the true value information management can deliver as we emerge from a global pandemic and the economic damage it has wrought.  

“This study provides tangible evidence that IM is driving wider organisational improvements through digital transformation. Analysis shows how organisations utilising IM to enable modern methods of construction have developed new, innovative services in the market, and also brought life into projects that were once simply too costly.  

“The challenges the construction sector faces are increasingly complex and this report shows we have both the tools and the expertise to face these challenges, delivering innovative and joined-up solutions that will embed true value into the projects of today, which will meet the challenges of tomorrow.” 

Richard Threlfall, Global Head of Infrastructure at KPMG, said:

“As we move beyond the pandemic, the construction industry is facing into a number of challenges: a huge uptick in demand, pressure to transition to net zero, and a lag behind other sectors in terms of productivity. To respond to these pressures the industry needs access to good quality, trusted and timely data and the ability to fully embrace digital transformation.

“This new report provides the evidence for how IM can help to reduce costs, support innovation to drive up revenue and quality, and boost growth across the wider UK economy, as well as helping to unlock important value for customers, the wider public and our environment. These outcomes are more important than ever for the country’s economic recovery and the drive to ‘Build Back Better’. Now the Government and industry need to focus on measures which expand and accelerate the widespread adoption of Information Management to realise its full potential to drive value within and beyond the sector.”

Richard Robinson, Atkins UK and Europe CEO, said: 

“From the homes we live in, the hospitals we rely on and the transport and energy infrastructure that keeps the UK moving and working, construction is fundamental to our economy and our society. We already knew that digital adoption was key to driving productivity, increasing the lifetime of assets, and delivering whole-life value but this report gives us strong validation and quantified evidence of just how important IM is in bringing that digital transformation to life. The imperative for the industry to improve has never been higher and this study provides evidence of the change not just in motion but accelerating.” 

More Information

Read the Press Release

Read the Report

Read the Executive Summary

Read the Case Study Annex 

Roundtable - 28 June 2021

Watch the Roundtable held with a panel of experts discussing the report below.

If you would like to watch the extracted report introduction from Will Squires and Chelsea Dosad, KPMG is also available, as well as the extracted Panel Discussion for the report.

Contact: comms@cdbb.cam.ac.uk