New technologies, political uncertainty and capability challenges are just some of the big challenges that will face infrastructure owners, investors, operators and planners over the coming year, according to a recent report by KPMG International.
This year’s edition of Emerging Trends, an annual forecast of the top trends influencing the infrastructure sector over the coming year, suggests that this will be a year of data-driven enlightenment for the sector.
Richard Threlfall, KPMG International’s Global Head of Infrastructure said, “This will be the year where data and analytics matures in the sector; it is the year where evidence-based decision‑making starts to become commonplace; it is the year where all organizations begin to uncover new insights that lead to new opportunities and – ultimately – important choices”
“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 top trends for 2019 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 ten emerging trends in infrastructure for 2019:
Trend 1: 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.
Trend 2: 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.
Trend 3: The challenges of megaprojects are magnified
With a view to helping defend their projects against political and financial pressures, megaproject owners will find a new thirst for benchmarking and learning lessons from other projects globally.
Trend 4: 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.
Trend 5: 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.
Trend 6: 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.
Trend 7: 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.
Trend 8: 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.
Trend 9: 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.
Trend 10: 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 maximize the growing interdependence of infrastructure.
“Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) 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”.