6 Key Takeaways From The ACE's 2019 Digital Leadership Conference

Posted by Deltek on June 28, 2019

Image rights: ACE 

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We were honored to attend and exhibit at last week's Digital Leadership Conference at Prince Phillip House in Central London. The annual event is designed as a summit for digital leaders from top engineering and consultancy firms and their clients - with the aim of exploring opportunities for driving business transformation and value through innovation.

Attendees were taken through the research to-date from the AEC's Future of Consultancy campaign, to test out and achieve consensus on the areas of opportunity, to guide the next phase of research, and to develop the awareness and capability of the attendees to deliver digital transformation within their businesses.


"We can move to being Strategic Advisers while delivering integrated projects by utilising digital capabilities, products and technologies to enhance our expertise."


Over 100 attendees heard industry leaders not only discussing the future of consultancy, but exploring real life examples of good practice, long term goals for the consultancy industry, the evolving digital landscape, how to build digital capabilities and how consultancy can support clients.

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) is the association for the UK’s professional consultancies and engineering companies operating in the social and economic infrastructure sectors representing the views of its members to champion infrastructure to government and other stakeholders. It also provides a forum for members to work together to learn from each other and gain insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by the sector. 

Digital Leaders Panel

Image rights: ACE 

The conference, one of many events organised by ACE, was both informative and inspiring. Consulting engineers often downplay the importance of what they do but many of the speakers both directly and indirectly highlighted reality that this sector in particular creates massive value, provides the best opportunity to achieve a sustainable environment and affords an exciting future for the next digital generation.

As Hannah Vickers, Chief Executive of ACE, said, “We can move to being Strategic Advisers while delivering integrated projects by utilising digital capabilities, products and technologies to enhance our expertise”.

It was a privilege to be part of the conference and to continue to support ACE as well as helping our new and existing clients in meeting the challenges faced as we move into the future. If you would like to discuss any of the themes raised in this blog further, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Our 6 Key Takeaways

1. There needs to be a focus shift away from traditional KPI’s like utilisation, and more of a focus on the outcomes of work, and how efficiently it’s delivered. 

2. The industry needs to adopt a different business model as 'time-by-the-hour' billing is not selling the value of the work engineers deliver. 

3. Value is not just what the client pays for, but how the end result is used. A brilliantly engineered product, that might have a substantial cost, will not have value if it can’t be used. 

4. Adoption of technology and digital transformation is a way firms can deliver better value at a lower cost. 

5. Collaborative projects and engagements are becoming a new model for contract delivery (such as the Project 13 programme), and digital tools are making this a possibility. 

6. End clients need to be engaged with more detail and much earlier in the project cycle to understand that digital information (e.g. a Digital Twin) on their asset\project can deliver substantial value.

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