The collaborative economy is one of the hottest trends in business. But can ‘heavy industries' build their own collaborative models given they have no obvious connection to the consumer trends driving the rise in peer-to-peer services or sharing apps?
The current trend for a collaborative economy has seen sectors from hotels to finance disrupted by peer-to-peer services. Despite appearing to have few links to such consumer currents, the infrastructure industry is confronting the challenge head on.
At first it doesn't appear the infrastructure industry and the collaborative economy would be a natural fit. Where one is based on mutual benefit, the other can be a battleground of competing interests.
Yet a more trust-based approach to projects presents an opportunity for the infrastructure sector. Emma-Jane Houghton, associate director at KPMG in the UK, notes the vulnerability of infrastructure businesses that fail to evolve. While Richard Threlfall, head of infrastructure at KPMG in the UK, estimates the cost of failure to embrace this cultural change as £8 billion in lost economic output.
This article explores the ways in which ‘heavy’ industries, such as infrastructure, can build their own collaborative models.