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The evolution of Infratech: How technology is shaping the future of infrastructure

Technology and data are increasingly driving and disrupting infrastructure projects. What does that mean for an industry where many players don't yet have fully developed digital strategies and how will they respond to the new risks and possibilities? And how will technology firms take advantage of the new opportunities, and navigate new risks that these major projects present?

We believe both sectors need to further engage with each other to drive a new era of Infratech and take full advantage of this revolution.

Our report, The evolution of Infratech, is produced in association with the Institution of Civil Engineers, techUK and Mergermarket, and examines the risks and addresses them in order to maximise the opportunities. Technology will continue to disrupt and infrastructure will continue to be developed; but do the key players have the strategy to be ahead of the game?

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Key findings

  • Technology is a deciding factor in new infrastructure projects: 97% of respondents say that the quality of technology and the level of its integration are increasingly decisive in new infrastructure project bids.
  • Collaboration is coming: 53% of infrastructure firms surveyed, and 43% of tech firms, expect to enter into a joint venture with the other side in the next three years. Similarly, 53% of infrastructure firms and 45% of tech firms expect to enter into a private-public partnership that includes the other side over the same period.
  • Technology is a major draw for investors in greenfield and brownfield Infratech projects: 98% of investors in greenfield sites say the inclusion of technology as part of a greenfield bid will make them more likely to support it in the next three years. Meanwhile, 96% of brownfield investors say, over the next three years, the presence of technology will make them more likely to invest in an infrastructure project.

About the report 

In Q3 2017, we worked with research specialists Mergermarket to survey senior-level executives from the infrastructure and technology/communications provider sectors as well as direct equity investors in the infrastructure sector. In total, 300 people were surveyed, including global leaders in their fields. Respondent companies include those listed on FTSE 100, Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Korea Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange and NYSE,  among others.

The companies involved were split between the UK, Asia-Pacific and EMEA. The survey included a combination of qualitative and quantitative questions. Additional in-depth interviews were conducted with experts and executives from a selection of infrastructure and technology firms, as well as universities and public sector bodies. The findings were also discussed at a roundtable event with senior representatives from a range of stakeholders. The results of all the interviews and the roundtable helped inform the core messages of the report.

Our Infrastructure experience 

Our international teams are renowned for their sector expertise, gleaned through decades of exposure to all facets of the infrastructure and technology industries, significant experience of cross-border transactions and project delivery, and the development of global teams that encompass all legal disciplines. We understand what it takes for our clients’ businesses to succeed in challenging and evolving markets.

Inspired by our clients’ ambitions to secure a competitive edge in the emerging Infratech space, our market leading Infrastructure and Technology teams have come together to combine their respective knowledge, experience and  capabilities to work with our clients to tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by digital disruption, regulation and change that are discussed in this paper.

Our close engagement with industry, Government and regulators, and our deep understanding of the range of legal risks and delivery models in both sectors means we help clients position to pre-empt hurdles, protect their assets and investments, and achieve success.

Key Contacts