At CGI, we’re seeing challenges across most industry sectors, leading to the development of new and novel approaches to problem solving, whether it be manufacturing, supply chain and distribution, government, utilities as well as national and critical infrastructure.
None of these challenges are more obvious than in the transportation sector, where the economic trends we are experiencing appear aligned:
Revenue reduction and increased operational costs are putting pressures on existing business models, meaning a fundamental shift is required to continue to operate with existing or increased margins. In the past two years, the sector has been put under pressure financially for goods and services, which have been compounded by a reduction in passenger numbers, leading to operational deficits.
With the diminishing value of the pound we are all feeling the pinch, meaning businesses who want to remain competitive have needed to find new ways to achieve efficiency in process, procedure and operational performance.
Finally, as consumers, whilst we recognise the pressures at home, we still expect to receive digital services and connectivity at a cost that suits our lifestyle, life choices and budgets.
As with any operating model (personal or professional), these observations cannot be ignored and there is a requirement for the transport sector to develop new ways of thinking. An obvious start is the transformation of technology and services, ensuring systems remain fit for purpose and accessible to all.
To address these challenges, investment could be made to ensure existing or legacy systems are better utilised or supported – but this can be expensive and stifles creativity.
Therefore, perhaps the approach is to make it easier for the useful information from legacy systems to be capable of ingestion by other, more modern systems. Perhaps flexibility needs to be designed-in when considering new tools, and interoperability needs to be at the heart of transformation, driving commercial and business value from day one.
If we remain focused on building a better transport network, the fluid exchange of data seems a like a hurdle we can overcome fairly easily. This may allow for a ‘stepped’ modernisation program, and, if executed with the industries interest in mind, will provide value from its insight as well as balancing the costs.
By listening to our clients, monitoring market trends and extracting the views of our own global transport experts, we are supporting modernisation projects through evidence-based insight. Through these techniques (and placing the appropriate technology where it is needed) we are able to develop value from disparate systems, reducing overall cost and streamlining processes:
- Real-time Insight can be achieved using CCTV, remote sensors and AI, which allows change detection on both physical or virtual assets
- Advanced connectivity allows clients to automate systems for service and maintenance
- Interoperability improves customer experience and engagement – for example, Conversational AI drives outcome based experiences for multimodal transport sales, wayfinding, active travel and enhanced customer services
- Algorithm development supports day to day issues, allowing users to understand how to achieve marginal or significant gain through behaviour change.
It’s fair to say, using available technology and the practice of utilising suitable technology to meet client and consumer demand needs to be at the forefront of our minds as we consider the steps needed for a modern and flexible transport infrastructure.
As an IT professional and transport expert, I have no problem stating our sector can better support transport initiatives, so long as we’re more willing and determined to work together. Supporting transport collaboratively will not only allow for ecosystems to flourish, but also enhance our capability as we strive towards better mobility services for people, products and things.
If you have any thoughts about what the next modernisation steps our transport systems will take, or would like a chat around transport in general, please reach out to me directly.