Even though a solid majority of construction companies assign digital transformation a high priority, only 15% have actually begun the process, according to a Dodge Construction Network survey. David Brian Ward, CEO of Safe Site Check In, reviews four factors needed for success: identifying an agile transformation team, integrating office and field technology, finding the right tech solutions and setting realistic expectations.
Digital transformation is on the radar for the majority of construction companies. Today, 71% of construction companies say digital transformation is a priority, according to the March 2022 Digital Transformation in Construction Survey conducted by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Safe Site Check In.
While digital transformation offers the promise of greater efficiencies and productivity, adoption has been especially challenging for the construction industry.
Yet in an October 2021 survey of construction professionals conducted by Dodge Construction Network, only 15% have implemented a digital transformation strategy. What’s the disconnect?
One explanation is the complexity of the ecosystem – owners, designers, builders, insurers, etc. all have to participate in digital, voluntarily or not. A second is that fast moving projects generally get priority over IT infrastructure projects. And a third explanation is the cultural divide between the building trades and knowledge workers.
Today we’ll focus on a simple truth about digital transformation – it’s not a project. It doesn’t have a defined beginning and end, much less a fixed budget. Instead, it’s a journey that requires on-going investment. This is contrary to the way construction works in that building projects start and end while digital transformation is ongoing.
Building Buildings vs. Building Software
When you build a building, you begin with the structure’s blueprints, scope the project, estimate ROI, estimate supplies and staffing needs, fund, build, inspect, repair defects, handoff to the project owner, and then move on. Ideally, the team achieves a profit above its overhead burden and is duly rewarded.