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Tracking '3.3: Digital by Default'

By: Adam Beck, Co-Host | Digital Built Australia Podcast

It's been just over a year since something exciting happened for the first time in Australia's history....

In September 2021 the Australia Infrastructure Plan was published, advocating for a new approach to infrastructure delivery - one that needs to be 'digital by default'.

The digital by default concept is articulated through a key recommendation that reads like this:

Recommendation 3.3:
Increase productivity and embed a culture of innovation in the infrastructure sector by adopting an evidence-based digital by default approach to infrastructure planning, delivery and operations.

The Plan has set three progress measures for this recommendation, including:

  1. Percentage of Australian Government funded projects incorporate a digital twin, using a harmonised approach

  2. National digital infrastructure roadmap published, with progress reports (published annually)

  3. Percentage of projects over $50 million (2021 $) that have digital asset champion roles.

In addition to these progress measures, there are a series of outcomes and activities articulated, which include things like:

  • Create ownership and vision for digital approaches to infrastructure planning, delivery and operations by establishing a national office for digital by default in infrastructure

  • Improve knowledge-sharing about digital approaches to infrastructure planning, delivery and operations and promote more consistent approaches between jurisdictions by establishing a national digital infrastructure network

  • Embed a digital by default approach by creating and implementing a smart infrastructure policy in each jurisdiction that uses technology and data to drive economic success and social inclusion

  • Increase digital adoption in infrastructure and develop jurisdiction-wide digital twins of the built environment by creating or strengthening related capabilities and cross-departmental functions

And these are just some of the activities supporting the digital by default recommendation.

So, where to from here when it comes to implementing this recommendation, and supporting activities? And what time frames for implementation make sense? Is 5-10 years too late?

To make a start, DBA proposes to undertake a survey of government and industry stakeholders to gather data on this recommendation - the scope, opportunities and progress we are making. We will do this in collaboration with potential partners, like the Digital Twin Partnership.

This will then form the basis for further dialogue, and advocacy.

More to come soon.

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