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The 21st Century is highly dependent on Information Technology (IT). It has touched and influenced every aspect of the modern life. The advent of IT has changed the way people communicate, study, travel, build, plan and everything else. Infrastructure, like every other facet of modern life, is also hugely dependent on IT. Whether its planning, development or operation of any project; IT plays an important role in every phase. Modern economies are largely dependent on infrastructure for their smooth operations, sustainability & growth.

Planning

Computer modeling and historical data analysis helps the developers understand the need and demand of infrastructure project at a particular site. Other tools like GPS help understanding the location and landscape of the project site. IT tools like Auto Computer Assisted Design (AutoCAD) and BIM helps in designing the projects and create 3D models on computer much before the first stone is laid. Such modeling allow identification of any design flaws or additional requirements much before the project start. Besides saving time and effort, these tools help create flawless designs. IT coupled with communication technology helps in community participation in the design phase. It helps developers understand and address the concerns of the local community & ecology.

Construction phase

After proper planning, comes the stage of construction. This stage is labor intensive and involves heavy machinery. Most of the machinery is controlled by specialized computers to maintain accuracy and precision. Computer models help in resource optimization and mobilization. Managers keep track of their inventory and staff with help of IT tools. Specialized IT tools are used for project management such as STR Vision. These tools help monitor the progress of the project, maintain timeline, manage demands and generate timely reports for all the stakeholders. Remote sensing and GIS enable developers to keep close eye on the developments and alterations happening at the project site and surrounding areas.

Operation and Management phase

This includes HVAC, lighting, safety, security, inventory management, personnel management and much more. IT tools are also used to monitor the overall health of the project and keep the managers alert regarding any contingencies. In projects like parking spaces, highways etc special software help in fee collection, demand forecast and traffic regulation. Thus, helping the managers maximize revenue and plan for peaks & troughs of demand and supply.

Conclusion

IT is imperative for conception as well as smooth operation, whether it is a stand-alone project or a combination of projects like a smart city. With every passing day, new applications of IT are being introduced in the infrastructure sector. REPL is using specialized IT tools on projects to save cost, curtail errors, minimize environmental impact and maximize revenue. However, the success of any project depends on the selection of right tools and correct application by the managers.

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