Infrastructure is undergoing something of a renaissance.
In the United States, the Senate has just passed a $1 trillion investment in roads, bridges, and other critical projects. In June, the European Union approved a €750 billion ($910 billion) recovery plan, some of which will go toward major infrastructure projects. Globally, countries spend more than $2.5 trillion a year on vital infrastructure, like transportation, power and water — a figure that McKinsey argues should reach $3.7 trillion by 2035.
To make the most of this capital, and of this moment, now is the time for the infrastructure and construction industry to make long-overdue investments in technology.
That’s why Salesforce has launched a Global Engineering, Construction, and Infrastructure Initiative that includes dedicated teams and advisors, specific industry blueprints and new ways of engaging customers in this industry with the objective of helping companies achieve meaningful and tangible business impact from their digital transformation initiatives.
The impact of being a digital laggard
The infrastructure ecosystem — which includes everything from building materials suppliers and engineers to construction firms and equipment operators — has long been a digital straggler.
This is a key reason that the construction industry has averaged just 1% a year in labor productivity growth over the past two decades, compared to 2.8 percent for the world economy as a whole. McKinsey estimates that up to 40% of funds going toward global infrastructure and capital projects are “poorly spent,” in part due to lack of innovation. And an estimated 98% of megaprojects run into cost overruns or delays.
Lagging behind technologically results in countless inefficiencies along the infrastructure value chain.
Now is the time for a data-driven approach
When it comes to major infrastructure ventures, a single failure can sink a company.
Firms in this sector can no longer afford to rely on outdated, manual processes to make decisions and execute projects.
Taking a data-driven approach to managing risk, deploying resources, issuing bids, and reaching customers has the potential to kickstart productivity and unlock billions of dollars in value across the sector.
The Salesforce Global Engineering, Construction, and Infrastructure Initiative, which I have the privilege of leading, can help companies integrate their data, monitor each stage of the Capex cycle and make smarter, faster decisions. All of this translates to higher quality projects, shorter timelines, and lower costs. The Initiative is based on extensive industry knowledge—we’ve spent more than a year talking to over a hundred customers in order to deeply understand their businesses and how we can help them unlock tangible value.
We’ve also convened a global team of experts and a network of executive advisors with the aim of helping customers access industry-specific solutions for increasing productivity and accelerating economic recovery. At the same time, we’ve aligned our operating units to these industry sub-sectors and developed diagnostic tools to identify areas of major opportunity for our customers in the industry, who often operate with tight margins.
Now, we’re looking for companies that want to partner with us to jumpstart their digitization efforts. With massive investment in infrastructure on the horizon globally, there’s no better time for the industry to turn the page with technology.