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Report identifies trends for infrastructure

Apr 22. 2019
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By The Nation

NEW TECHNOLOGIES, political uncertainty and capability challenges are just some of the big challenges facing infrastructure owners, investors, operators and planners over the rest of this year, according to KPMG International’s latest edition of “Emerging Trend” – an annual forecast of the top trends influencing the infrastructure sector this year.

“This will be the year where data and analytics mature in the sector; it is the year where evidence-based decision-making starts to become commonplace; it is the year when all organisations begin to uncover new insights that lead to new opportunities and – ultimately – important choices,” noted Richard Threlfall, KPMG International’s global head of infrastructure.

“This is all good news. With a greater focus on evidence, decision-makers will see a wider range of opportunities and choices than ever before. And by making better choices, they get closer to delivering better outcomes for their communities,” he added.

Emerging Trends in 2019 showcases the year’s top trends as identified by KPMG International’s Global Infrastructure Leadership team. The report provides important context behind the 10 trends, offers insights into how the trends are evolving and delivers sound advice to help infrastructure players stay on top of the evolving marketplace.

“Those that are able to stay on top of the emerging trends and understand their broader implications will be well placed to make the choices they need to drive their future success,” added Threlfall.

“And that is what this edition of ‘Emerging Trends’ in infrastructure is all about.”

So what are the top trends to watch over the coming year? And how will they influence the infrastructure sector? Here’s a look at KPMG’s top 10 emerging trends in infrastructure for 2019:

?The public sector begins to reassert its role: As new models and solutions start to disrupt the traditional role of authorities and regulators, governments will take a more assertive approach to defining the rules for private sector infrastructure provision.

?Data drives operational efficiency: The increased maturity and accessibility of data and analytics will allow infrastructure players to uncover the insights that will enable unprecedented efficiency across the infrastructure lifecycle.

?The challenges of mega-projects are magnified: With a view to helping defend their projects against political and financial pressures, mega-project owners will find a new thirst for benchmarking and learning lessons from other projects globally.

?Eyes shift to emerging market opportunities: As interest in new growth opportunities increases, authorities in emerging markets will start to place greater emphasis on properly selecting, preparing and delivering projects.

?Embracing the evidence: Infrastructure authorities will adopt more holistic and evidence-based decision-making processes that enable a much more informed approach to delivering on society’s needs and expectations.

?Sustainability goes mainstream: While progress on the sustainability agenda is clearly being made, expect more public pressure and scrutiny on the sustainability of infrastructure planning, delivery, maintenance and funding.

?Progress trumps divisiveness: Infrastructure players will reassess their long-term strategies in order to diversify their footprints while also moving towards those markets that continue to make progress on their infrastructure agendas.

?Competition for new technologies heats up: The competition around new technologies will intensify as players continue to look for new opportunities to improve their services, products and revenues.

?The customer becomes king: Governments will focus more clearly on understanding actual user choice and will start creating infrastructure plans informed by real-time and predictive customer insights.

?Interdependence creates opportunities: Infrastructure planners will take the steps necessary to start considering multiple long-term plans, supported by robust scenario planning capabilities, as a way to maximise the growing interdependence of infrastructure.

“Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor is a good example of the above trends, with long-term growth due to the new S-curve policy as well as smart technology implementation,” says Tanate Kasemsarn, head of infrastructure and

government, KPMG in Thailand.

“With participation between the government and the private sector, the projects have gained interest from multiple parties, from both domestic and international players.

“In order to drive the projects to success, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and financing, while using proper data analysis and insights are needed.

“With collaboration and decisions made based on data, the project will achieve better planning and operational efficiency.”

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