The construction company has created the new leadership role to help support its growing focus on tech and innovation, which the firm sees as a strategic necessity for the industry.
The firm’s previous chief information officer and procurement director, Chris Johnson, has been appointed the position with immediate effect, however he will still hold overall executive accountability for IT and Procurement.
Johnson said: “With enhanced BIM modelling, virtual reality, drones and laser scanning to name but a few, new technologies and data, when adopted, embedded and utilised effectively, have the power to transform the infrastructure and construction industry through lowering cost, improving quality and transparency and enhancing safety.
“Across Balfour Beatty, there are unrivalled opportunities for real step changes that will help drive improvements and innovation for the infrastructure and construction industry as a whole.”
Before joining Balfour Beatty, Johnson was in manufacturing where he implemented change programmes for businesses via new technologies and processes.
Since joining the firm in 2015, Johnson has executed a transformation programme called Build to Last, improving operational and back office processes, which will be advanced with three cores areas: Project delivery through technology, digital project information and engineering excellence.
Leo Quinn, chief executive of Balfour Beatty, said: “Our industry is probably a generation behind manufacturing in deploying technology to drive efficiency and innovation – as well as historically resistant to learning and applying lessons from other sectors.
“As a market leader, Balfour Beatty must lead this change to drive continuous improvement across our business and ensure we are the best positioned to deliver for our clients, despite skills shortages in all aspects of construction and engineering. Combining this with our ongoing procurement cost management underpins our vision of profitable managed growth.”