What is America’s infrastructure?
Is it roads? Telecommunications? Power?
Infrastructure is anything that makes society work, and our nation has spent the last 200+ years building the systems that support the most powerful nation in the world.
In those 200 years, a lot has changed. The original designers of America’s infrastructure could not have imagined the demands of the future.
It is not enough for roads to provide a path from point A to point B. Highway systems of the future must include safety measures that account for ever-increasing traffic volume and support autonomous vehicles and interconnecting sensors. A seamless and sustainable network is critical for America’s future infrastructure.
Designing a Connected, Sustainable Infrastructure
In telecommunications, the goal was to get a signal, of any strength, in the air. Now networks must be dense, and the signal must be strong. Data-hungry devices brought-on by the influx of IoT demand a higher concentration of sites and better data speeds.
Coal fire plants of the past focused on delivering power – not receiving it and certainly not on regulating it. The shift to renewable energy forces the industry to look at more efficient ways to use power. To build distributed power grids that can provide as well as receive and redistribute energy.
In the past, each of these industries was segmented - operating in a silo with little interconnectedness.
As America rebuilds its aging infrastructure, each of these disparate parts will combine into a seamless connected network that serves society.
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. – Harvey S. Firestone
Rebuilding a Sustainable Infrastructure Starts with the Way We Build
Renewable energy, smart power grids, and autonomous vehicle systems demand the talents of a streamlined workforce that does not rely on the past to learn how to build the future.
Trade-based industries have traditionally followed an apprenticeship model – knowledge passed from generation to generation.
Then, an emphasis on higher education increased at the same time new technologies were emerging, creating a fundamental shift in the way individuals prepare to work in these industries.
Instead of passing knowledge through experience and books, tradesmen are taught technology through technology – online classes, augmented reality, smartphones, and even YouTube are replacing the generational apprenticeship model.
Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together. – James Cash Penney
Intelligent Enterprises Will Win
As infrastructure and workers implement technology, the very businesses that design, estimate, build, and operate must change.
Intelligent enterprises rely on tools that feed data to a centralized location. Each tool is a spoke in the wheel and ensures that data is measured across the entire enterprise. No data point is siloed, and all collected data is relevant.
With this level of intelligent transparency, businesses can evaluate the efficiency and profitability of every design and every project. By using integrated process verification tools, technician-level data from multiple vendors feeds directly into the project, without chasing down information or relying on human-generated “guesstimates.”
Accurate, reliable, consistent data is essential to the industry growth needed to build the smart, sustainable infrastructure that America demands. Enterprises that embrace the tools needed to support this shift will capture the largest share of the market and sustainable infrastructure rebuilding will accelerate.