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August 16, 2023

Is Construction's Digital Progress Really as Fast as We Think?

Is Construction's Digital Progress Really as Fast as We Think?

In today's fast-paced world, digitalisation has become a buzzword across all industries, promising to revolutionise processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. The construction industry is no exception, with leaders and decision-makers frequently touting their strides towards digital maturity. However, a recent survey by construction software supplier Causeway raises an eyebrow, suggesting that the industry's digital progress might be slower than what the top brass believes.

Construction's Perception vs. Reality

Causeway conducted a comprehensive survey that included input from 175 individuals responsible for software procurement across various tiers of the construction industry. From SMEs to Tier 1 contractors in construction, house-building, building services, and civil engineering, the survey encompassed a wide spectrum of industry professionals. The results were startling and revealed a significant disparity between perception and reality.

Digitalisation Initiatives Are Underway

The survey highlighted that a vast majority of organisations in the construction sector are actively engaged in initiatives to digitalise various aspects of their business processes. This is a promising sign and suggests that the industry recognises the benefits of embracing technology.

C-Suite Confidence vs. Ground-Level Insight

One of the most intriguing findings of the survey was the stark contrast between the confidence of C-suite executives and the ground-level perspective. A whopping 71% of top-level executives believed their organisations had achieved a high level of digital maturity. However, this optimism seemed to be misplaced when compared to the feedback from individuals in less senior positions.

Manual Spreadsheets: A Persistent Dilemma

Perhaps the most glaring revelation from the survey was the continued reliance on manual spreadsheets within the construction industry. Despite the adoption of advanced technology designed to supersede these archaic methods, a staggering 94% of organisations surveyed still use manual spreadsheets in their day-to-day operations.

What Does This Discrepancy Mean for the Industry?

The glaring gap between what C-suite executives believe and what employees on the ground experience is not just a matter of perception; it has real-world implications for the construction industry.

  1. Efficiency and Cost Savings: The use of manual spreadsheets can hinder efficiency, leading to increased project timelines and costs. By embracing digital tools and technologies, construction companies can streamline their operations and reduce unnecessary expenses.
  2. Competitive Edge: In a fiercely competitive industry, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Those organisations that genuinely invest in digital transformation can gain a competitive advantage by completing projects more efficiently, meeting deadlines consistently, and offering innovative solutions to clients.
  3. Future-Proofing: The construction industry's digitalisation journey is inevitable. Ignoring this reality may leave organisations at a disadvantage as the industry continues to evolve. By addressing the gap between perception and reality, construction firms can better prepare for the future.

While the construction industry is undoubtedly making strides towards digital maturity, it's crucial to acknowledge that there's still work to be done. The Causeway survey serves as a wake-up call, highlighting the gap between the boardroom's perception and the ground-level reality.

Construction companies must heed this call to action, reevaluate their digitalisation efforts, and prioritise the adoption of advanced technologies over manual spreadsheets. By aligning perception with reality and embracing digital transformation wholeheartedly, the industry can unlock its full potential, ensuring a brighter, more efficient future for all stakeholders.

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