Home » Uncertainty and volatility speeding up construction’s digital transformation, report finds

Uncertainty and volatility speeding up construction’s digital transformation, report finds

by Liam Turner
UAE developer selects 5 tech startups for accelerator programme

More than a quarter (28%) of construction decision-makers within the UK and Ireland believe wider economic uncertainty and industry volatility has prompted a large increase in digital transformation over the past six months.

The survey found that 12% of decision-makers considered themselves to be a ‘digital-first’ business, while 44% were making progress in moving toward digital transformation.

A further 44% said they were only just starting their digital journey.

The findings follow the newly published ‘How We Build Now’ benchmark report, which was commissioned by Procore Technologies.

The firm hired Censuswide to survey 803 construction decision-makers in main contractors, subcontractors, and owner-led developers in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, UAE, and Saudi Arabia between 29 December 2022 and 12 January 2023.

A total of 201 decision-makers were surveyed across the UK and Ireland.

‘Good news’

Commenting on the findings, Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor, vice-president of EMEA at Procore, said: “In an environment where the pressures firms face come from the bottom line rather than the top, the scene is set for technology to play a greater role in driving the industry forward.

“This is backed up by almost half (44%) saying they plan to introduce construction management platforms into their business in the next 12 months.”

Oliveri-O’Connor added: “These findings aren’t just good news for now – but the future, too.

“Against persistent headwinds in the construction sector globally, UK and Irish decision-makers continue to show resilience and adaptability to build strategies for long-term success.

“Accelerating digital transformation and unlocking the value of data to improve decision-making, visibility, security, client experience, as well as sustainability, will not only improve the industry’s efficiency and bottom line today but increase its ability to navigate unforeseen challenges and expectations tomorrow.”

Elsewhere, the survey found that, despite the mention of robotics, respondents believed tried-and-tested technologies were likely to drive positive change and digital transformation over the coming years.

Their most popular choices for this were construction management platforms, prefabrication/DfMA, and extended reality, including AR and VR technologies.

Nearly half (44%) of the respondents said they were planning to introduce construction management platforms within the next 12 months.

On data, nearly two-thirds of respondents said cost savings of 20% or more could be made on a project if their business more efficiently captured, integrated, and standardised data.

On the topic of sustainability, the majority of the respondents said the issue is on their radar, with 33% actively tracking carbon emissions on projects.

A further 35% said it is in their plan for the next 12 months, while 26% said it is in their two-year plan.

Read next: 80%+ of builders experience mental health problems due to work – report

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