The Digital Transformation Is Here
When it comes to digital transformation, the construction industry is unique. As many of our readers know, the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is typically delivered by groups of contractors and subcontractors working in a collaborative environment. This creates complex workflows, and can make the digital transformation more challenging than other industries.
Further, pressure to deliver projects on a short timeline, at a low cost, and at a high quality creates additional hurdles. Thus, teams need to work together in this complex environment. Enter technology. The digital transformation offers a unique opportunity for construction companies to improve how this is done, the challenge is implementation.
This is why I was intrigued when I was reading a recent report from IFS, www.ifsworld.com, which says ERP (enterprise-resource planning) and big data are key investment areas for digital transformation within the construction industry.
The study highlights that the main driver is process efficiency, followed by improved reporting and decision making. Some of the tools that can help with this include ERP, big data and analytics, and IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service).
More specifically, big data analytics tools can help employees understand how to get the best use of an asset based on what was designed, what was built, what failed, when, and how it is performing. However, we aren’t quite there yet. IFS suggests that while 69% of construction firms are using data-driven insight, just 17% are actually gaining a competitive advantage from it. And that is quite frankly where we are today.
Overall, there is a need today for this digital transformation in the construction industry, but it is hard to implement and identify how to gain that competitive advantage. The industry is complex, but this is precisely the reason why the industry needs technology.
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