Skip to main content

Infrastructure on Cloud Nine: Construction Innovation and Digital-driven Asset Intelligence

Submitted by Bentley Systems on April 4, 2024

By Matt Gijselman, Director of Infrastructure Policy Advancement (ANZ), Bentley Systems and Michael Cullen, Enterprise Account Manager, Bentley Systems

The advent of cloud technology signifies a groundbreaking transformation in how infrastructure is designed, managed, and delivered. It is characterised by heightened efficiency, expandability, and cost effectiveness. 

In the infrastructure sector, cloud computing—and the efficient collaboration that it facilitates—is driving innovative change throughout the infrastructure lifecycle. From predictive maintenance to megaproject delivery efficiency, cloud computing offers a vision of a future that is more nimble, productive, and inventive for infrastructure.

Unleashing Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness

Cloud computing's ability to dynamically scale resources offers an unparalleled advantage, allowing businesses to adjust their infrastructure seamlessly in response to fluctuating demands. This agility not only mitigates large upfront investments, but also ensures operational costs are directly aligned with real-time requirements[1]. The transition to cloud-based models liberates businesses from the traditional confines of hardware and software management, fostering a more fluid and cost-effective operational approach.

As a catalyst for digital transformation, cloud computing can facilitate a seamless integration into existing business processes, paving the way for a smoother migration to cloud-based operations. By adopting cloud services, organisations can embrace modern solutions with reduced fear of costly delays or data risks, accelerating their digital advancement.

Enhancing Collaboration and Innovation

Cloud platforms redefine collaboration by enabling secure, real-time access to data and applications from anywhere, fostering a culture of innovation and productivity across remote workforces. Moreover, the emphasis on data security and built-in backup systems ensures that businesses can operate with confidence, knowing their most valuable assets are protected against unforeseen circumstances.

Cloud computing not only alleviates operational burdens, but also empowers businesses to focus on innovation and growth. The flexibility and scalability of cloud services allow enterprises to experiment with new solutions and stay ahead of market trends. Additionally, enhanced customer service capabilities ensure that businesses can meet the evolving expectations of their clients, further bolstering their market position.

Leveraging Digital-driven Asset Intelligence for Infrastructure Management

The advent of digital-driven asset intelligence marks a transformative era in infrastructure management. This approach harnesses the power of data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide real-time insights into the health and performance of infrastructure assets. By integrating these technologies, organisations can predict maintenance needs, optimise asset lifecycles, and reduce operational costs significantly. The U.S. Department of Transportation, for instance, has embraced such technologies to enhance the safety and efficiency of transportation systems, demonstrating the practical applications and benefits of digital-driven asset intelligence[2]. This strategic shift not only streamlines asset management, but also paves the way for proactive, rather than reactive, infrastructure management strategies. Through predictive analytics, it is possible to foresee potential failures and address them before they escalate into critical issues, ensuring infrastructure reliability and longevity.

Cloud Services Technology and Digital Twins

Innovation in construction technology, propelled by cloud computing, is redefining the landscape of infrastructure development. Digital twins and AI-driven analytics are at the forefront of this revolution. Digital twins, virtual replicas of physical assets, enable real-time monitoring and simulation, offering insights that drive efficiency and resilience in infrastructure projects. The adoption of AI-driven analytics further enhances predictive maintenance and operational efficiency. An example of this innovation is seen in the Crossrail project in London, where BIM and digital twins significantly improved project delivery and operational efficiencies. These technologies not only streamline the construction process, but also contribute to the sustainability and durability of infrastructure projects, showcasing the vast potential of innovation in construction technology to reshape the future of infrastructure management.

Another great example is Benesch’s pavement crack detection technology solution[3]. Most public assets include pavement and, therefore, require crack detection survey and maintenance. Given that traditional pavement assessment practices and technology are time-consuming and inaccurate, Benesch explored integrating AI and machine learning (ML) into their field data collection workflows, targeting crack detection in pavement. However, they faced challenges with closing the gap between digitally identifying cracks and classifying the cracks based on condition assessment. 

Using iTwin technology, they created digital twins of several test sites and, harnessing the power of AI and ML, streamlined the crack detection process and fed the data into the digital twin for analysis. In this instance, the solution automated digitisation of the crack linework data, which is expected to save their airport clients around USD 144,000 in inspection costs—without impacting traffic or airport operations.


The transformative impact of cloud technology on infrastructure management is undeniable—where construction innovation and digital-driven asset intelligence redefine approaches to roads, rail, dams, and beyond. Through cloud technology, the industry has achieved unprecedented efficiency, scalability, and innovation. The integration of cloud services into infrastructure management expedites digital advancement and enhances global collaboration, security, and data protection.

Digital-driven asset intelligence—utilising data analytics, IoT, and AI—ushers in a future where predictive maintenance and optimised asset life cycles are standard, shifting management strategies from reactive to proactive. Similarly, innovations in construction technology, enabled by cloud computing, render projects more sustainable, efficient, and resilient. The introduction of digital twins and AI-driven analytics illustrates how cloud technology is crucial for smarter infrastructure development.

The cloud revolution signifies a fundamental rethinking of how infrastructure is built, managed, and innovated. Embracing cloud technology not only enhances the present, but also paves the way for a future where infrastructure is as dynamic and adaptable as the rapidly changing world.