Nutanix today announced it has signed a deal with Laing O’Rourke Australia to deploy its Enterprise Cloud OS software, supporting the construction firm’s digital strategy and helping enable its focus on technology development.
Laing O’Rourke is a $6 billion international operation with 50 years of involvement in Australian construction and infrastructure including more than a decade under the Laing O’Rourke banner. The business is currently delivering some of Australia’s most exciting projects across the transport, building construction, defence, airports, mining, civil and social infrastructure sectors.
Recently, Laing O’Rourke developed a prototype camera which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect if workers are wearing protective clothing in hazardous areas. Other technology initiatives include using big data to test the hardening of newly-laid road surfaces.
Nutanix is supporting Laing O’Rourke to further develop similar technologies by providing its Enterprise Cloud OS software to run Laing O’Rourke’s core applications.
“We believe in the benefits of building twice, once digitally and once in the real world, and Nutanix helps us to achieve this,” said James Fields, Head of IT Infrastructure and Operations, Laing O’Rourke Australia.
“Laing O’Rourke uses its data to support critical decision-making on projects throughout the business,” added John Rich, Data, Integration and Development Manager, Laing O’Rourke Australia. We use data to optimise and analyse our opportunities, supply chain and projects to ensure that we deliver value for our clients, while continuing to lead the way in innovation in construction and engineering.”
The enterprise cloud environment is being rolled out by Nutanix and partner MOQdigital and hosted in the NEXTDC S1 and NEXTDC B2 colocation data centres in Sydney and Brisbane. Laing O’Rourke had also considered public cloud, but realised they could do it cheaper and more securely over a five year period on premise, additionally public could presented difficult cost forecasting and could mean its IT team spent too much time balancing the books rather than developing new digital services said James Fields.
It chose Nutanix to maximise resources and because it offered an overall better return on investment (ROI), as well as simplicity and improved security by enabling faster and more regular patching when compared to other vendor offerings.
Signs of industry slowdown emerging
Laing O’Rourke’s transformation is starting to look visionary. While Australia’s construction industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth, there are signs it is slowing down: the Australian Industry Group’s latest Performance of Construction Index (PCI) showed activity continued to contract in February, marking the seventh consecutive month of decline.
“Laing O’Rourke has shown the rest of the industry that the status quo is not an option.” said Neville Vincent, Vice President ANZ, ASEAN and India, Nutanix. “As the construction industry in Australia continues to transform, cloud technologies will become vital to securing a long-term profitable, productive and sustainable future. The future (continued) success of Australia’s construction industry will rely upon using the simplest, most effective and most flexible solutions out there – and they all emanate in the cloud.”
As increasing productivity, cost efficiencies, greater competition, rising customer sophistication and health and safety all make increasing demands on the industry, the requirement on businesses to re-think their IT and technology strategies to keep pace is only set to grow.