Analogue villains in a digital world


The world has become increasingly digitalised and construction, as well as wider society, must adapt. John Eynon, Consultant at Open Water Consulting explains…

The saga of the Hatton Garden burglary is topical, but somehow it struck me as a metaphor for change. The judge in the case described the gang as “old school villains”. The BBC website on one post said that the burglary was “doomed to fail.”


They were undone by digital technology! Automatic Number Plate Recognition, mobile phone tracking and CCTV data aggregation were their downfall. They hadn’t kept up-to-date with technology and had no idea of its capability, so they paid the price. They had ignorantly underestimated the technical capability of the competition (the police), and made schoolboy errors.

There is a lesson here, particularly for us ‘baby boomers’, and middle managers with the ‘millennials’ snapping at our heels. Old school might be what we know, but it just won’t cut it any more. Our world is changing, bewilderingly rapidly, and in ways we could have only dreamed of a few years ago.

This is about more than BIM. BIM is more than just one project. It is about the flow of digital information informing and shaping every aspect of our lives. More than the built environment industry – everything.

Therefore, for your organization, your business, and yes, your career, we all need to respond and adapt to survive and succeed. Remember, if you don’t, at least some of your competitors will, and we know what happens next. The digital revolution is, and will, affect us all in some way, and we need to keep up. Are you?

There is a lesson here – you might not go to prison for what you’re doing on a daily basis, but if you stick to business as usual as it was, then you might go out of business!

JOHNEYNON. – is a journeyman architect, design manager, writer and blogger. You can catch up with him at


John Eynon


Open Water Consulting

Please note: this is a commercial profile


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