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Donnerstag, 15.04.2021
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Acceleration of digital adoption across infrastructure development in Saudi Arabia has been multifold, implemented at the supply chain level, in building smart cities, and leading to strengthened investments towards "digital infra," panellists deliberated on the first panel of Day 1 of Construction Week's recently-concluded virtual KSA Infrastructure Summit.

The first panel of the conference - Analysing the Current State of Saudi Arabia's Infrastructure Sector - comprised Depa Interior's Director, Abdoullah Albizreh, the KSA Country Manager at ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, Daniel Orti, Mohamed Saad, Senior Development Director at Diriyah Gate Development Authority, and finally Autodesk's Senior Director for Infrastructure and Business Strategy, Theo Agelopoulos.

The panel was moderated by editor of Construction Week, Ashley Williams.

Q: How has tech changed the way KSA does business?

As an enabler in the digital journey of contracting giants, Autodesk has witnessed in Saudi Arabia an "acceleration of adoption of digital and cloud tech," Agelopoulos said on the first panel of Day 1 of Construction Week's recently-concluded virtual KSA Infrastructure Summit.

He said: "It takes a lot of commitment from the kingdom to push the supply chain to move in the desired direction, and one of the biggest challenges is to upskill the supply chain and make it capable and efficient."

Commenting on his experience at Depa Interior, Albizreh said: "From a supply chain, because we deliver most packages internally, there has not been much of an impact."

On his part, Saad said: "COVID-19 has changed the way we do business. It has become more evident that investing in digital infrastructure for companies and countries is not a luxury but a must."

Investing in digital infra: way forward

"Strong and capable digital infra will become a point of differentiation and advantage to a robust economy. Saudi has been amazing in investing in digital infrastructure. We are enjoying one of the highest speeds of internet in the world, and this has paid back to ensure that we didn't have major disruptions in business in 2020," Saad said.

"Saudi has great potential in digital transformation, not only in GCC, but globally as well."

Q: How does Saudi Arabia fare in terms of its approach to smart cities?

Suggesting that the kingdom has been "digital" in its approach to infrastructure from the very beginning, Agelopoulos said that Saudi Arabia is preparing themselves to assemble digital representations of a physical world in a way that they can ultimately run a smart city.

"The kingdom is going to be at the front end of emerging smart city opportunities," he said.

Alluding to the switch from megaprojects to gigaprojects in our conversations, Orti said that the scale at which the kingdom is approaching smart cities is overwhelming.

"It isn't like we're creating a city or neighbourhood, but we're shaping a full country."

Furthermore, he said that the approach to smart cities should lean towards creating a "user-friendly environment" that the community can then benefit from.

Read all details of the first panel of Day 1 of the summit here.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Disha Dadlani

Quelle/Source: Construction Week, 14.03.2021

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