The robots are coming

When we hear about technology adoption and the role it is playing in the property, environmental and development markets, I think there are certainly two different camps of thinking.

The conversations that we see in the press relating to Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Building Information Modelling and drones for example can seem a bit ‘pie in the sky’ to those still early on the technology adoption curve, yet for the other camp, they are exciting developments that herald a step-change in our way of working – if they aren’t already started to head down the path of adoption.

From where we sit, it’s clear that technology is making its mark on the day-to-day processes of all of our clients, across all industry sectors. Of course, GIS is already well used by private and public sector organisations alike – being able to intelligently translate location data visually offers significant advantages, from managing assets to visualising new developments. The use of tablets and mobile apps is also increasingly commonplace.

We only have to look at the way our Envirocheck customers are today utilising the data outputs and it’s clear that the use of printed-out maps and manual sketching is being consigned to the archives. Data is now easily viewed, shared, scrutinised, manipulated, analysed, geotagged and more in just a matter of clicks – and the accuracy and speed is clear for all to see.

When you consider the scale of infrastructure projects, for example HS2 or London Crossrail, the use of digital data is a given. If pen, paper and print-outs were involved, the timescales would need to be seriously reconsidered!

This does however take us back to AI, Blockchain, BIM and drones that I mentioned earlier. The use of this new tech isn’t perhaps as future-facing we think. For professionals who feel this is ‘out of their league’ or just not achievable, many of these technologies and ways of working are already being used today. AI is being built-in to existing systems to help automate decision making or analysis, automatically – behind the scenes. The great thing about this is we don’t all need to be AI aficionados to use it –our systems are now just doing it and we are reaping the benefits!

When we talk to graduates who have recently started out, they are hungry for new technology and we believe that this will be a factor towards driving further change in the way data and tech is embraced to deliver efficiencies to many processes in our industry.

You only have to consider how Envirocheck has evolved with the addition of our Envirocheck Analysis online service and mobile app. Now you can quickly assess a huge array of historical maps and data to determine whether any hazards may pose a risk on a site you’re working on. The data is just there, at a click of a button, and this means you’re armed with highly accurate data upon which to make decisions, develop plans and advise clients.

Here at Landmark, our goal is to ensure the next generation of data products and services has less manual interventions, and provides the right level of insight upfront to support property, land and environmental professionals in streamlining their day to day workings.

There should be less waiting for information, less reliance on reading and interpretation, and more time for employees to focus on delivering excellent customer experience to clients.

With 2020 now just around the corner, we think it’s time to prepare the ‘old guard’ for the technological changes that are here today and for what else is coming around the corner – and to embrace it – ultimately the benefits are wide ranging and in-reach for everyone.