Aconex released an inaugural report authored by itself and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), “Five Keys to Unlocking Digital Transformation in Engineering & Construction” that outlines the many challenges faced by the Engineering and Construction (E&C) industry to adopting and implementing digital technologies, and offers practical solutions with real-world case studies. The Global Industry Council (GIC) was created by Aconex and is comprised of leaders from the world’s top engineering and construction companies including AECOM, Bechtel, Chiyoda, Fluor, Lendlease and TAV Construction.
“Five Keys to Unlocking Digital Transformation in Engineering & Construction is the first clear roadmap that provides actionable advice for asset owners, EPCs, and contractors to transform the challenges they face with digital transformation into opportunities for success,” said Leigh Jasper, Co-Founder and CEO of Aconex. “Every organisation is different, and one of the report’s biggest values is giving them the knowledge of how to prioritise areas for action that will have the largest impact on their strategy and operations.”
Kate Nelson, GIC council member and Head of Business Technology & Innovation at Lendlease Building, said the report sheds further light on the importance of staying at the forefront of digital construction technologies. “Interestingly, the report highlights a number of cultural, as well as technical, barriers to digital adoption many organisations are currently facing. Only by addressing both sides of this equation will our industry be able to fully leverage the benefits the next wave of digital technologies promises.”
The report outlines five key challenges, with in-depth proposed solutions:
- Integration Across the Ecosystem: Organisations are grappling with complex digital ecosystems that have multiple systems creating and duplicating data
- Rationalisation and Standardisation: Complex and non-standard processes need to be rationalised across projects
- Building Digital Talent: Organisations not only lack teams of IT experts but also a broader workforce that is digitally savvy
- Securing Digital Adoption: Workforce apprehension arises from cultural and technical challenges
- Establishing Value and Return on Investment (ROI): Organisations find it difficult to communicate the benefits gained from large digital investments
The E&C industry is one of the last to embrace digital technologies for business practices1. Many in the sector struggle to consolidate fragmented platforms, standardise processes, or even attract digitally savvy talent, which has led to decreased productivity.
The benefits of implementing digital project delivery for E&C companies are numerous, according to Aconex. This includes: remaining competitive, helping to retain/grow market share, lowering costs, increasing productivity, ensuring safety and delivering projects on time and on budget. With rapid progress projected – the industry is expected to grow to $17.5 trillion by 20302 – the E&C sector will need to harness modern technology now.