Trends in infrastructure

The infrastructure landscape has never been as dynamic as it is today, having moved from the domain of utilities and public service providers to the focus of policy dialogues. There are multiple factors driving the future of infrastructure - advent of new technologies and blurring boundaries in the era of industry X.0, consumer behaviour and aspirations, changing nature of work, as also governmental push and thrust on development. In this changing scenario, the roles of infrastructure stakeholders are also changing and a different approach needs to be adopted for delivering infrastructure and services, suited to the new times. A few trends that we are witnessing that may not be altogether new to India, but are the ones to watch out for, are mentioned below:

  • The changing urban landscape is pushing new challenges at all stakeholders: The emerging urban India will house about 40% of the total population by 2031. The fast rate of urbanisation, growth of towns and cities, tremendous pressure on urban services, and citizens’ demand fuelled by fast track development - infrastructure agencies now need to adopt different models to meet citizens’ aspirations.
  • Digital and technological disruptions are driving change for futuristic infrastructure: IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), machine learning, bots, blockchain, and ever newer forms of technologies are evolving faster than ever before, and are bound to impact the infrastructure landscape. Technology adoption in infrastructure can add immense value, reducing cost and time overruns and enhancing efficiencies, enabling citizen engagement and helping make infrastructure more ‘people-centric’, and in a resource constrained environment, helping build futuristic infrastructure such as future of mobility powered by new energy.
  • The roles of stakeholders including authorities, infrastructure financiers, developers and service providers, are changing in the future of infrastructure.
  • Advent of new players in infrastructure market: We are seeing an emergence of the need for technology providers, and service providers for smart infrastructure - along with the traditional set of construction agencies, contractors, and developers. A different approach is needed to amalgamate them in the infrastructure ecosystem.

Vishwas Udgirkar, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tomatsu India LLP

Read more in the "India in the next decade series"

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