The future of BIM must focus on data not productivity


Q: Has the industry moved beyond simply seeing BIM as a version of CAD towards an understanding that data is a resource?

A: Different sectors approach this issue in different ways and are at different stages of maturity. For example long term asset managers such as Network Rail or UK Power Networks understand that they have a massive amount invested in their assets and that their income relies on it working. But if you then look at developers or house-builders there is a different view largely because of the length of time they retain those assets. So the drivers are different. But what we are seeing is that more people now see the value of data in understanding their assets.  Some of this is driven by clients and some by an understanding of the market. One or two tier one contractors, for example, realise that the future world is likely to be very data centric and that the areas of innovation are likely to be around this rather than productivity.

Q: To what extent is the adoption of BIM now accepted as less to do with technology and more to do with the industry’s approach?

A: It is all about the industry – the technology is just a part of the supply chain – a valued part but still simply the supply chain. I think that we are going to see the geometry derived vendors such as Bentley and Autodesk really start to get their minds around data. We have got great geometry solutions but we haven’t got such good data solutions in the way that manufacturing and aerospace has.  We will no doubt start to see firms like Dassault, IBM, Siemens, Oracle, Google and Microsoft appearing in market as we see a convergence and bigger suppliers acquiring the sector suppliers. Consolidation is what happens in the software market.

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