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DATA-DRIVEN TRANSFORMATION

Data-empowered technologies have dramatically changed modern life. Most major industries are now almost unrecognizable compared with their mid-twentieth-century versions. Digital transformation has put dazzling amounts of information at our fingertips—enabling profound insights, instant transactions and ubiquitous communication.

Yet, with all that advancement, the construction industry is still lagging behind on technology adoption. A recent study from Dodge Construction Network revealed that just under half of companies rely on manual methods to communicate updates among teams, including text, email and even paper methods. Even more (46%) rely on those manual methods to communicate with other companies.

WHY CONSTRUCTION LAGS

There is no shortage of available technology for the industry. If anything, there may be too many hyper-focused “point solutions” and too few solutions that streamline the whole project-delivery ecosystem to everyone’s benefit. Another study found that large companies use 10 or more point solutions for a single process. Meanwhile, busy practitioners rarely have the time or expertise to evaluate numerous competing options, many requiring time and money to implement. 


The construction industry is already fraught with risk, so it makes sense for to reluctantly increase risk through unfamiliar tools, allowing the status quo to persist. 

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD

Construction has a clear need for seamless access to reliable information. And, there is no resistance to it.  A huge majority (95%) of construction professionals are willing to use tools that could combine or streamline parts of their work. So, what is the stopgap?

Construction is entering an era of more comprehensive and interoperable technology platform solutions to manage individual projects or complex multiyear building programs. It is critical for construction to break its reliance on single, operation-specific solutions. Construction has the chance to systemically change in a way that can dramatically improve outcomes for everyone and help construction catch up toand perhaps even surpassother major industries. 

COLLABORATIVE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

It will take more than just technology to actualize construction’s potential. The expectation that practitioners “stay in their lane” is often why point solutions have proliferated. Reliable change requires multiparty participation to create a truly collaborative environment in which technology can meaningfully contribute. In that world, integrated digital workflows are the circulatory system providing a lifeblood of reliable information where it’s needed, when it’s needed and to exactly who needs it.

BRIGHT FUTURE

There is nothing stopping the construction industry from embracing true digital transformation. The rapid growth of offsite construction, advances in immersive visualization and revolutionary transactional processes like blockchain have the potential to drastically modernize today’s industry in a relatively short time. Future generations of construction professionals will never have to experience how projects were completed “back in the day.”

Construction has the tools, the talent and the desire. Now it just needs the will.

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