Why geospatial can provide the answer to Emmanuel Macron’s brave new vision for France and Europe
The election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France certainly gives a huge and welcome boost to post-Brexit stability across the Europe Union. However, it is also clear that his desire to reshape the French economy and align with Germany at the heart of a new European powerhouse will increase the pressure on the UK to raise its game in terms of global competitiveness.
Infrastructure, of course, already sits squarely at the centre of delivering this aspiration for the UK. The reality is that without modern, world leading transport, communications, energy and logistics infrastructure, Theresa May “strong and stable” rhetoric will count for nothing.
A such, the forthcoming GEO Business event this month in London will provide a powerful glimpse into where, as a sector, we need to be when it comes to transforming the delivery of these services. As the conference speakers will make clear and as exhibitors on the show floor will demonstrate, we are on the cusp of a new digital industrial revolution every bit as powerful as those driven in the past by steam or water power, by electricity and mass production, or by the personal computer.
The opportunity presented by so-call industry 4.0 and the coming together of digital information technology, robotics and high tech manufacturing cannot be ignored. While enhancing the nation’s infrastructure is core to transforming the fortunes of the UK economy, it is equally true that the future for the delivery of this infrastructure will be built around the need to substantially boost efficiency.
That means a step change in productivity is needed across every part of the infrastructure asset life-cycle. Focus can no longer simply be placed on the exciting and politically useful process of asset creation and ribbon cutting. Instead future success will be determined by our ability to efficiently maintain and operate infrastructure over its lifetime.
As we heard last week at a discussion evening organised by wireless monitoring specialist Senceive, strategies for the management of infrastructure assets must be set and investment committed to from the very earliest point in the design process. This message will continue at the GEO Business conference later this month.
It is a message that must resonate with every sector of the infrastructure market from transport, to energy, to water and to housing. It is a message that makes clear the need for the whole supply chain – starting with the asset owners – to embrace new technologies and new thinking to drive up whole life and operational value.
But more than that it is a message that underlines the need to shift thinking away from simply what is being constructed, maintained and operated to why it is there and what outcome it is helping to deliver. Efficiency and higher productivity in future will depend on infrastructure professionals adopting a relentlessly customer focused outlook.
Geospatial engineers are key to smoothing this change in approach. With one foot firmly rooted in the conventional, practical world of infrastructure delivery, maintenance and operation, and the other leading and driving a radical data enabled future, they are increasing at the heart of the change needed.
It is a world and a role that all others in the infrastructure market should get up to speed with – and clearly getting along to the GEO Business event on 23-24 May would be a great place to start.
Without a doubt the time for radical change is upon us not least as the UK attempts to navigate a post-Brexit world. The energy, passion and laser-like focus that Macron has already demonstrated towards his dream for a new and revitalised French economy within Europe is certainly set to ramp the UK’s cross Channel competition.
Embracing and leading the new world of customer focused infrastructure could well be one of the UK’s best ways to compete in the difficult years ahead. Get down to GEO Business to hear how you can get a head start.
GEO Business 2017, 23 – 24 May 2017, Business Design Centre, London UK
The geospatial event for everyone involved in the gathering, storing, processing and delivery of geospatial information. Incorporating an international trade exhibition, a cutting edge conference and a programme of live commercial workshops sessions, featuring the technology and services used by those working with spatial data.
This article was written by independent editorial expert and journalist Antony Oliver, who regularly contributes industry content for GEObuzz. Find Antony on Twitter @_Antonyoliver_
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Sophie Potten, Marketing Manager, Diversified Business Communications UK