Seequent: Subsurface civils sector wants to harness cloud technology for better data


Global study with over 700 professionals finds strong indications that cloud adoption will speed up. 

A new report by Seequent, the Bentley Subsurface Company, has revealed that there is strong willingness across civil infrastructure professionals to adopt cloud technology, with data management proving challenging within many firms. 

The report revealed that across the civil sector, there is a remarkably high level of readiness to embrace cloud technology, with 85% of respondents indicating they are ready – the highest of all geoprofessional industries surveyed. Despite the positive outlook however,  the report identified barriers hindering the full potential of cloud adoption. Reliability, lack of skill/capability, and cost were identified as primary obstacles. Additionally, many respondents said that internet access was a significant challenge.

Jo Knight, chief customer officer at Seequent, said, “As civil infrastructure projects become larger, and budgets become tighter, it’s more crucial than ever for organisations to garner greater value from their data. Our aim is for the Geoprofessionals Data Management Report to shine a light on common and emerging challenges amongst the subsurface community, so we can collectively address them. It is an initiative Seequent feels passionately about, and one which now spans over 12 years.”

Data-challenges in subsurface civils

Data challenges for the sector are remarkably high, according to the report’s findings. A staggering 67% of civil professionals acknowledge that they have data organised in various systems, which suggests a lack of centralisation. The report also highlights a substantial amount of time spent on data management, with 24% of respondents devoting more than 30% of their working hours to this.

The implications of that for the subsurface sector are profound, given the significant talent challenge the profession faces. So freeing up the time of existing professionals would represent a major opportunity. 

The report also notes that data management practices in the civil sector are still behind other sectors with only only 13% of respondents reported having an established framework for data management, in stark contrast to the mining sector’s 39%.

Indications of rapid change 

However, the report also revealed a promising sign of rapid change, with 35% of respondents saying that they intend to have implemented a data management framework within the next 12-18 months.

In terms of decision-making, 17% of respondents said they did not have access to necessary data. This figure is lower than in other industries, suggesting that the subsurface civils sector is harnessing some of the value of data-informed decisions.

The sector also has a relatively strong outlook on technology adoption, with 41% of civil professionals considering themselves early adopters of new technologies.

Pat McLarin, segment director, civil, at Seequent, commented, “The report makes for fascinating reading and casts a sharp light on the deficiencies in data management across the civil sector. It also underscores the importance and urgency of implementing sound data management practices underpinned by digital workflows.

“It is reassuring to see that there is a readiness to adopt innovative technology and a strong appetite for change. Cloud-based solutions have progressed significantly in terms of cost efficiencies and reliability, and we need to do more to present their ease of implementation to the civil sector.”