London-based construction company Balfour Beatty is cited as a leading cloud adopter in construction in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, according to the latest research from analysts GlobalData.
Managing an expanding order book, Balfour Beatty innovation includes deep use of cloud technologies to improve efficiency and enable growth, with the company recognised in the Technology Leaders Index for its approach to cloud and investments in emerging tech innovations such as IoT and robotics – as well as 3D and 4D computer models, VR, and the use of ‘digital twins’ to improve safety and productivity.
Balfour Beatty is using VR headsets as a training tool, while chief technology officer Chris Johnson has stated the company’s aim is to have a “digital twin” for each of its physical projects.
GlobalData highlights Balfour Beatty’s use of cloud to standardise its end-user computing and hosting environments, and the company’s work adding extra functionalities to a new communications platform to better integrate big data and analytics tools, including predictive technologies, to improve employee safety.
Reporting to the Group CEO, Johnson was appointed into the newly created leadership role in December 2019 to accelerate Balfour Beatty’s drive for sustainable innovation, citing VR, drones and laser scanning as some of the technologies which could help transform the infrastructure and construction industry as a whole.
Balfour Beatty’s Rail Innovation Centre, a dedicated R&D and testing facility in the UK city of Derby, was launched in 2018 to support the development of the ‘digital railway’, including its own suite of rail products and software.