The latest edition of Arup’s publication A2 is themed “Getting More With Less”. Foresight helped put together some searching questions that Arup put to UK-based experts and leaders in five industry sectors. We were also asked to write the introduction below, summarising the drivers and their implications over next 5 years, as alluded to by our guest interviewees. The five industry experts who shared with Arup their thoughts are:Dr John Green (Imperial) on Education
Prof. Andrea Buraschi (Imperial) on Finance
Simon Kirby (Network Rail) on Engineering
Lord Darzy on Health
Jorg Nowack (Hitachi) on Technology
All the interviews presented in the article speak to heightened, sustained levels of change and uncertainty in five very different industry sectors: healthcare, education, engineering, technology and finance. All five industries are grappling with a range of drivers shaping a new operational environment, bringing new challenges and opportunities.
Lord Darzi explains how the current economic climate has focussed attention in the healthcare sector on cost savings and efficiency gains. New cost-effective ways of delivering healthcare are required. The sector’s future will rest on its ability to develop innovative solutions that improve access and quality, particularly in the areas of chronic disease management and lifestyle conditions such as obesity.
While the healthcare sector is experiencing a degree of deregulation in the UK, the higher education sector is facing a wave of government regulation. New metrics to measure performance are to be enforced, at a time when budgets are severely constrained. Dr John Green explains that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are being challenged to rethink the ways in which it delivers services. For those research institutions like the Russell Group of universities, there will be more competition for fewer contracts. This may mean that some universities will have to invest in its strengths and cut back in other non-core research areas. For those HEIs that focus solely on teaching, the student will be increasingly seen as a customer.
Simon Kirby paints a different outlook for engineering, from his perspective as Director of Investment Projects for Network Rail. The Government has promised greater investment in rail. However, collaboration is required to deliver value for money, particularly at the local level.
Local partnering is a central theme in Jorg Nowack’s interview on technology. Nowack speaks to Hitachi’s three key strategic goals as it seeks to cement its position not only as a Japanese giant, but as a global giant: sustainability (providing software enabled solutions to help society reduce impacts and harness efficiency gains), convergence (between ITC and engineering to form new products and services) and globalisation (building global presence through collaborative partnerships, mergers and acquisitions).