Skip to main content

Cities and Counties Can Shrink Infrastructure Expenses Through Effective Data Continuity and Control

Public agencies want a better way to leverage data to make the construction and operation of infrastructure less expensive, says Matt Sprague, market manager – local government for Trimble’s Owner & Public Sector. Trimble is a technology company that offers a variety of integrated infrastructure solutions to local government (including cities) and other sectors.

“We are seeing an increased demand from public agencies for solutions that address construction project management, planning and design collaboration, asset handover and asset maintenance.” Sprague explains that his firm’s offerings address a large portion of the infrastructure asset’s lifecycle. The offerings, he adds, can help city and county officials manage the cost-effective use of the data associated with an asset. His conclusion: “The solution can help drive down the overall cost of ownership of an asset.” His firm’s Asset Lifecycle Management solutions help officials gain clear visibility and improve stakeholder communications from design and construction through operations and maintenance.

“You will maintain an asset far longer than it takes to create it. Invest in technology solutions that can provide insights into what was built and can be added to throughout the asset’s life.”

— Matt Sprague, Market Manager - Local Government, Trimble 

Sprague’s team recently sat down with more than 20 public agencies to learn about their digital transformation visions. “We discussed the problems they are looking to solve, the solutions that can address those issues, and the pains involved in implementing and procuring the vast array of those solutions.”

Sprague says the conversations with the public agency officials show that those agencies are looking for ways to find economies of scale. One conclusion from the discussions, according to Sprague: “A consolidation of vendors, contracts, procurements and renewals would save an enormous amount of time and resources to support them.”

He offers these words of wisdom for local government officials planning or implementing an infrastructure project: “My advice is to find ways to simplify your technology stack across the multiple departments in your organization. This will not only create economies of scale for technology infrastructure support, but it will also help streamline the effort needed to share data between those solutions and the stakeholders that use them.”

For local government officials planning or implementing an infrastructure project, Sprague says they should plan for the life of the asset, not the duration of the project. “You will maintain an asset far longer than it takes to create it. Invest in technology solutions that can provide insights into what was built and can be added to throughout the asset’s life. These solutions can help create a 100-percent accurate and up-to-date depiction of the asset. Your operations and maintenance teams will thank you, and you will in turn maintain your assets more efficiently.”

Last year, Trimble trained more than 400 of its public agency customers and their business partners to help them use the company’s technology and solutions to their full potential. “We also focus on continuous education for Trimble employees to help public- and private-sector customers get the most value from our solutions,” Sprague tells Co-op Solutions.

The firm’s technology and solutions have earned multiple cybersecurity certifications or authorizations that demonstrate the highest security standards in the industry. “We will carry that work through 2024 and beyond to deliver the solutions that are transforming how local governments plan, design, build, operate and maintain their infrastructure assets across the entire asset lifecycle,” Sprague says.

Trimble is working to improve security, performance and ease of use in its infrastructure products and systems. “In 2024, we will continue the work we have been doing for years to bring a broad selection of solutions and services to help our local government customers improve efficiency, productivity, cost-effectiveness and sustainability,” Sprague says.

“Find ways to simplify your technology stack across the multiple departments in your organization.”

— Matt Sprague, Market Manager - Local Government, Trimble 

He adds that public asset owners and operators want systems that offer data continuity from both their digital project delivery and enterprise asset management solutions, noting that the key to data continuity is the adoption of a Common Data Environment (CDE) or a Connected Data Environment. He says his firm’s Quadri system addresses the need for a Connected Data Environment and is suited for his company’s city and county customers. “Quadri is an open Connected Data Environment that is fueled with data from solutions across a government’s teams, from the office to the field. It positions Trimble to be able to provide a unique, end-to-end solution for our customers in the public sector.”

On the subject of data continuity and data control, Sprague says his firm’s Asset Lifecycle Management tools connect people, processes and data across all lifecycle phases. They can also help improve infrastructure project outcomes and lower total asset costs. He adds: “Cities and counties are quickly adopting those solutions that lead them toward complete control and accessibility of their asset data.”

Sprague believes cooperative contracts can save time and streamline the process for governments when they buy infrastructure products and services. He adds that they provide a convenient alternative to the traditional procurement process. “Cooperative agreements also provide lower pricing than individual purchase agreements. By purchasing technology through a cooperative contract, agencies can shorten the time-to-value of their new solutions and pass those benefits on to the public.”

This article originally appeared in American City & County (May 22, 2024). Republished here with permission.