Infrastructure professionals appear divided on the industry’s ability to adapt to change and the role of technology, according to a new White Paper published by infrastructure technology solutions provider Topcon Positioning GB and the ICE.
Researchers surveyed a random group of 220 ICE members, and found that over half (58%) of junior respondents believe that skills shortages could be overcome by adopting new technology.
Only 23% of respondents in senior positions believed that technology was a key solution.
A fifth of all respondents said their business is resistant to change. But a higher percentage of junior professionals – 33% – hold this belief, compared to just 9% of their senior colleagues.
Fifty six per cent of junior professionals also said the industry is reluctant to work collaboratively, compared with 37% of senior professionals.
Twenty seven per cent of respondents cited cost as one of the biggest barriers to the industry adopting new technology, while 22% said that company culture was the main barrier.
“It would seem that our two biggest barriers – cost and culture – go hand in hand,” said Dave Bennett, managing director at Topcon Positioning GB.
“We must shift from the short-term thinking of project-by-project profit and consider the wider benefits in terms of productivity and efficiency that these investments will bring in the long term.”
ICE director of engineering knowledge Nathan Baker, said: “Professionals across the industry are still encountering barriers to change, risking the opportunity that the fourth industrial revolution represents.
“With this research, we’re inviting the industry to reflect on the findings and help us drive debate and action to support true transformation.”
The findings were debated at a joint ICE and Topcon lecture, chaired by ICE past President Tim Broyd, in February.
The speakers, who included Jennifer Schooling, an ICE Fellow and director of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, shared lessons from sectors that are leading the way in adopting new technology and processes.
- The full White Paper is available here.