Ancoris made its way to Birmingham earlier this week to spend time at Interchange Live with Google Cloud. This inaugural event brought together a progressive community of Transport, Logistics, and Infrastructure professionals who were keen to dig into how infrastructure giants can use cloud and data to enable sustainable modernisation across the industry.
Our Director of Cloud Engineering, Matt Frank, was on hand to deliver a ‘Lunch and Learn’ workshop titled, ‘Innovate, Optimise, Secure: Leveraging Google Cloud to create safer communities, transport and infrastructure’. In this session, Matt facilitated an insightful discussion on how industry customers can leverage Google technology to achieve their innovation and modernisation goals. Hint: the key is breaking “innovation” down into actionable, outcome-based projects that enable you to start and see value quickly.
While we were there to share knowledge, we were also there to learn from our fellow professionals and learn, we did. Read on for our 5 key takeaways.
- Less data silos, more industry collaboration. Silos across various data owners create boundaries which are preventing the UK from having a truly synchronised and smart transport offering. Instead of these silos, we need to move to a place where industry aligns with a single source of best practice. This will serve to pull everyone forward to be on the same page including those more wary technology laggards.
- AI is the way. When it comes to disrupting how the industry thinks about sustainability, leveraging the vast amount of data AI produces, and implementing it to turn that data into insight, is key. Whether that’s machine learning to unify journey planning across multiple transport types, or AI to optimise carbon utilisation, the opportunity to analyse large amounts of data and predict patterns of behaviour is enormous. In turn, this can be used to inform decisions on how to best approach operations and bolster sustainability efforts.
- Decarbonisation efforts are falling short. Although steps have been taken towards decarbonisation, it is clear that what we are doing is not enough which is potentially pushing net zero aspirations further and further back. How can cloud technology enable decarbonisation efforts through innovation and optimised technology? It's definitely food for thought.
- Remember, cloud adoption is still relatively new for some. Cloud technology offers vast capabilities that are going largely ignored by the majority of the industry, meaning they’re likely to be missing out on opportunities to modernise and transform their business. But we should proceed with empathy. The only real direct measure of innovation is change, and large scale change can (rightly) feel daunting. Remember what we said about breaking innovation down into actionable projects? No large scale innovation started as such – when done right, it begins with gutsy individuals willing to start small and try something different to achieve a new, better outcome.
- Recruitment and development is key in Construction and Engineering. Just like it is in the technology industry, attracting, developing and retaining talent are critical in the construction and engineering industries too. Organisations have a vision and ideas of the steps they need to take to reach net zero but they need the right sort of talent to take them through those steps and realise their vision fully.
As you can see, we took a lot away from the event. There are definitely positives especially in terms of what AI can do for sustainability, and the appetite for innovation. However, it is very clear that we need to carry on pushing for more – more collaboration, more decarbonisation, more talent. As much as it was a meeting of minds, Interchange Live with Google Cloud also acted as a call to action of sorts to prompt us all to do the necessary to: a) get on the same page and, b) move ourselves much closer to net zero.
If you’d like to chat to us more about our takeaways from Interchange, or find out a bit more about how you can leverage Google technology to achieve your innovation and modernisation goals, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to get in touch to see how we can help you Think Big, Start Now – chat with our specialists today.