Massive investment in disruptive technology has set the UK property industry on the brink of unprecedented change, delegates at Qube Global Software’s Customer Conference heard yesterday at the Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars.
Keynote speaker Ash Pal, a world expert in digital change and smart cities, gave an overview of the potential impact of disruptive innovation, what the property industry can learn from trailblazers in other sectors and how it needs to embrace the onset of radical change.
“Well-funded, aggressive new digital businesses are emerging and innovating to better serve customers across all industries” said Ash Pal. “Up to now the property industry has resisted transformative change, but we now see rapid digital reinvention of building design, construction, management, marketing, selling and support. What’s more, three quarters of European investment in property-related digital innovation focuses on the U.K. Property companies need to examine their value chains (where they earn money, who they partner with, how they serve customers) and think radically about how to best differentiate themselves against the strong competition to come.”
Qube Global Software CEO John Cuppello explained how success stories such as Uber and AirBnB have divorced the supply chain from the customer interface, with neither business owning their own assets. This has given them incredible speed to market and scope for rapid growth. He said: “In terms of property management, the development of mobile apps, portals and cloud based services are offering customers a new, truly mobile way of working, driving efficiency and allowing us to offer customers similar speed to market. We must ensure that we are at the cutting edge of mobile technology and anticipating future ways of working.”
The globalisation of the real estate industry, sustainability and the growing influence of mobile technology continue to be three major factors affecting the property industry, with the Internet of Things and the release of the Apple Watch showing the continued importance of mobile technology developments. The role of intelligent buildings and the advancement of technology in this respect is also predicted to have a big impact.
In an afternoon breakout session Peter Bolton King, Global Property Standards Director at RICS, discussed global changes that will revolutionise the property industry, including massive population growth, a predicted 70% increase in construction output between now and 2025 and a shortfall in infrastructure across the globe. “Now is the time for action”, he said. “If we are to create successful sustainable cities, we must respond to change by embracing new technology with visionary leadership and strong ethics at the heart of everything we do.”
Qube Global Software’s Customer Conference 2015 took place yesterday and was attended by just under 400 delegates, including customers such as Network Rail, Canada Life and the NHS, as well as property and software industry leaders. The company released its Annual Report at the event, which showed an 8.5% increase in turnover following a strong year of trading.