- The Global Capital Projects Outlook from construction software company InEight has found that the tide is turning on technology adoption in the industry. About 96% of respondents said they think technology can improve productivity, while 71% think it already has led to improvements.
- For project managers, the most popular technologies are data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), sensors and real-time physical data collection. Contractors prefer technologies on data analytics, AI/ML and project management software.
- While it is becoming easier to gather data, organizing and leveraging it to make decisions is where the value lies, the study found. The construction industry is still transitioning into widespread tech adoption, but it is optimistic about the potential of tools to transform the business, according to the study.
Construction may have digitally transformed slower than other sectors, but that is beginning to change.
About 92% of owners and 96% of contractors reported that their organizations now have a digital transformation strategy in place. For both owners and contractors, data analytics, project management software and operations and maintenance solutions are among the technologies respondents feel their organization should invest more in over the next five years.
Owners responding to the survey said they expect better risk management, higher productivity and organizational efficiency or cost savings as a result of investment in digital technologies.
Confidence in the construction industry remains high, especially in the U.S. Recent legislative initiatives, such as the American Jobs Plan and American Rescue Plan, are expected to translate into significant capital project spending on infrastructure.
Nevertheless, gaps remain between where the industry is today and where it wants to be in its technology adoption, according to the study.
For true digital transformation, it is critical to have a widespread rollout of enterprise-level mobile software that can make productivity improvements and collect and connect data, according to the report. One of the key barriers to this hardware. Although many on-site workers can access applications on their personal phones, they may be hesitant to make space for an enterprise-level platform on their device.
Owners and contractors face a number of other challenges in technology adoption. About 45% of owners and 35% of contractors identify difficulty of integration with current systems as a barrier to investment, while 32% and 39% are concerned about difficulty of implementation.
The burden is on technology providers to "make a compelling business case and smooth the implementation path for their solutions," according to the report. Many of these firms are gearing up to do just that, as recent rounds of funding show.