Digital transformation human-centric in construction

Digital technology is the top driver of growth

InEight Inc., a global leader in construction project management software, today launches its second annual Global Capital Projects Outlook. The Outlook draws insights from research conducted with 300 of the world’s largest capital project owners and contractor construction professionals across the Americas, Europe, and APAC.

The research reveals that 96 per cent of respondents are either very or optimistic about their organization’s growth prospects for the next year, up from 92 per cent in 2021. Digital technologies (57 per cent) and data collection, analytics, and insights (53 per cent) offer top opportunities for growth, however almost all (93 per cent) respondents said that their experience of change management left room for improvement, signaling a need for a more sophisticated, human-centric approach to technology implementation.

Of particular concern, respondents identified uneven or sporadic implementation (58 per cent), process and data integration issues (54 per cent), poor communication (51 per cent) and technical and system limitations (51 per cent) as the top frustrations caused by technology implementation.

Similar trends were also identified when asked about barriers to greater technology investment, with respondents identifying the challenge of integrating with existing systems, and a lack of technically skilled talent to smooth the process, as key issues.

Commenting on the Outlook, Jake Macholtz, CEO, InEight, says: “Everyone we speak to is talking about growth opportunities for both owners and contractors. The optimism, resilience and confidence of the industry is almost tangible it’s so strong. This is especially encouraging given the economic backdrop organizations are operating within and the implementation challenges associated with digital transformation. It seems to be that the prospect of leveraging digital technologies to build a better world is keeping spirits high.”

Human-centric transformation

The Outlook found that respondents see digital technology as broadly helpful in their day-to-day roles. Of most benefit: gaining detailed and holistic information on projects and events (51 per cent), prioritizing tasks/managing project workflow (50 per cent) and giving reassurance that environment, health & safety (EHS) policies are being followed (54 per cent).

However, highlighting the need for a human-centric approach, 94 per cent of respondents said they have specific concerns about the future of digital transformation. Reduced in-person communication (45 per cent), professional experience and human intuition being replaced by technology (43 per cent), damage to work-life balance (41 per cent) or the replacement of jobs by automation (39 per cent) were all front of mind for respondents.

When asked what benefits they hoped digital transformation could deliver in future, respondents said more automation (49 per cent), more control (48 per cent), greater strategic insights (47 per cent) and better communication (49 per cent).

“Respondents are clear on the benefits of digital technologies and eager to realize this new vision of the future but right now the industry is falling short when it comes to managing organizational change, making digital transformation unnecessarily arduous,” Macholtz says.

A tenuous operating environment

Against a backdrop of supply chain shortages, inflationary pressure, energy challenges, and war in Ukraine, capital project owners and contractors are unshakably positive about the direction of the industry. Notably, respondents reported a significant increase in construction and capital projects spending (up from 68 per cent last year to 76 per cent in 2022) while resilience also remains high, with 91 per cent of respondents considering their organization to be very or resilient.

However, in a departure from last year’s Outlook, the completion of projects on time and on budget has fallen dramatically. On schedule completion, as reported by contractors, has fallen 16 per cent year-on-year from 51 per cent to 35 per cent, while completion on or under approved budget has also fallen from 51 per cent to 38 per cent. Owners are yet to see quite the same impact, reporting 43 per cent of projects completed on time, and 45 per cent on budget.

Underlining the tenuous global operating environment, respondents highlighted unmanaged or unexpected risk as the most influential factor on whether a project will be completed on time and to budget.



Leave a Comment

Related posts