Different ways to count costs of innovation

Different ways to count costs of innovation
Published: 3 October 2019 - 7:15 a.m.

The ongoing digitalisation debate features prominently throughout the latest edition of MEP Middle East – the realisation that we are on an inevitable march to a binary domain striking more and more people with each passing day.

However many times the same talking points crop up, the conversation remains a staple feature during every exchange I have with industry leaders.

All have an opinion on what the future will look like, though they will be the first to admit the path forward is foggy at best.

Now, picking the best route on a journey such as this is undoubtedly stressful; the mind can run amok with ideas of digital systems just not working.

Key to wider acceptance, adoption, and implementation in the Middle East are pioneers; those brave enough to embrace changes to traditional ways of working to light the way for others.

You’ll be interested to know that a recent argument put to me by one particular interviewee – featured in this very edition – is that the industry needs to start counting the cost of not innovating.

Once I had time to reflect on our conversation, I thought this a refreshing way to reframe the digitalisation debate, which has the potential to bore stakeholders out of caring if approached from the same angle on too repetitive a basis.

Ugly thought, but consider breaking your leg. The cost of having it set and cast, plus hospital bills for your ambulance, treatment and medication added to the dirhams it’ll set you back in physiotherapy to get it functioning as it once did can be enough to bring a tear to the eye – likely for the second time in this fantasy scenario if your threshold for pain is as low as my own.

Ghastly, I know. But the alternative – limping along, possibly causing further damage as you go – stands to be far more expensive in the long-term.

Realising this may be overdoing the analogy: not treating a broken leg in the right way has even proved terminal for some.

Endeavouring to wrap this up and get to my point, there is often more than one way to approach an argument.

Granted, the innovators and progressive minds striving for the advancement of the MEP sector – and wider construction industry generally – are already doing so much for the rest of us, but there could be a case for the lobbying of digitalisation in a slightly different way.

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