Going Digital in Transportation5 Nov, 2018 By: Steve Cockerell
“Going digital” is not just about leveraging the latest technology, it’s about enabling different outcomes for your projects.
Many transportation professionals talk about the digital future, but it’s the digital present — and how we deal with it — that is becoming more important every day. “Going digital” is not simply about leveraging the latest technology or the cloud to meet business and economic challenges, it’s about enabling different outcomes: increased capacity, greater reliability, better performance, or reduced risk.
BIM beyond Construction
Currently, a significant part of your digital journey is in embedding building information modeling (BIM) standards and procedures within your businesses. When embraced by all, BIM can transform traditional project planning and delivery — where data is unstructured and team members work independently — into a truly collaborative digital workflow and environment. However, while real-time sharing of structured information reduces the potential for time and cost overruns, its true potential is far greater.
Integrating technology with digital workflows enables engineers to simplify the delivery of complex projects. And that same digital information created during planning, design, and construction can enable more informed decisions, boost reliability, and optimize performance in operations.
Transforming Travel across London
Widely recognized as a global construction exemplar, London’s Elizabeth Line is now 80% complete. Crossrail Limited continues to focus effort on leveraging the advantages of digital technologies and workflows through BIM standards and processes, including those outlined in PAS 1192 and Bentley’s connected data environment (CDE). The incredible team members at Crossrail realize that while BIM processes provide them with a streamlined approach to the creation and management of information during project delivery, it can also ensure the efficient and effective handover of valuable information to the railway’s future owners.
In 2016, Crossrail moved its CDE through Bentley’s managed services to a hybrid cloud-computing platform powered by Microsoft Azure, and today it provides a single location for storing, sharing, and managing information for nearly 1 million assets. The project remains on time, on budget, and is on track to be the first major infrastructure project in the UK to fully realize the value of BIM across the whole asset lifecycle.
Better Decisions and Improved Outcomes
Crossrail is just one of many excellent examples that show how visionary transportation owners and their supply chains are embracing digital technology and workflows today, to deliver improved outcomes for tomorrow. Design applications built on a comprehensive modeling platform are integrated with a connected data environment. Users can progress their discipline-specific — and now digital — workflows with agility, and the surety that they have the right tool for the job. And all stakeholders can access information they trust, from wherever they are, whenever they need it.
Your Digital Journey, Your Digital Future
With technology and innovation moving at speeds never witnessed before, and growing pressure to deliver different outcomes, it is clear that continuing to work in the same way is no longer enough. How organizations make this “digital journey” will separate them from their peers or competition. It will not be easy, but those who have a digital strategy and act decisively will flourish. Those who don’t will struggle, fall farther and farther behind, and in extreme cases, risk extinction.
It will likely require a profound shift of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies, and models for those involved. But without it, we will never fully realize the opportunities going digital can, and undoubtedly will, deliver in the future.