Water could lose out through risk aversion according to survey

The UK could miss out on millions of pounds in efficiency savings a risk because of risk aversion and uncertainty about new technologies in the infrastructure sector according to consultancy, Atkins.

In a survey of more than 30 infrastructure organisations, Atkins found that some 60% said they were more than two years away from “having digital ways of working and service offerings fully embedded” with 23% saying the gap was five years. Yet 97% of respondents saw the digitalisation of the industry as a positive development,

Atkins said those polled pointed to the rapid pace of change in technology and the lack of certainty over which would prove best as significant barriers to adoption. And respondents said the high risk in trying something new was also key in decisions about adopting innovation.

Chief executive officer for Atkins’ UK & Europe business, said: “The message from the government is clear - disrupt or be disrupted. The research shows that the appetite to embrace the opportunities that digital offers is strong, but we need to find a way to overcome our aversion to risk.”

He called for better collaboration between “the public and private sectors, the infrastructure experts and the technology experts, the funders, the designers and engineers, and the end users.”

Almost 30% of survey respondents said big data and analytics were likely to be the most disruptive while 25% forecast artificial intelligence as the the chief disruptor and 13% said it would be the Internet of Things. The research found that infrastructure companies sensed that growth in digital adoption would lead to more open and interconnected systems leaving them more vulnerable to hackers.

It emerged from the survey that only 13% of companies were using big data and analytics despite it being seen as one of the most disruptive and beneficial developments.

Read the full report HERE