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Key Trends in Construction Innovation Globally

An overview of our Construction Innovation event keynote address

Acuite co-founders, Antonia and David Speight, opened the event with a keynote address “State of the Industry: Construction + Technology Globally” to set the scene for attendees about what is happening globally in construction innovation.

Construction hugely valuable to economies worldwide.

Construction often gets a bad wrap – declining productivity, slow technology uptake, low margins but there are some hugely positive aspects of the industry. It makes up, on average, 5% of every country’s GDP – contributing a significant amount to global economic activity. For every $1 put into construction, $3 value to the national economy. This is reflected by the huge growth projected for the construction sector in New Zealand over the next five years.

Auckland’s construction industry alone is predicted to grow to $25 billion over the next 2 years. However, we will need to do more than just throw 32,000 extra people at the industry to meet the demand.

Why we stick with a tough industry.

David reflected on what makes us stick with a tough industry like construction. A big motivator is pride – seeing buildings and structures and knowing you were part of a team that built them. However, as everyone knows construction is not a 9 to 5 job but a way of life. 5% margins are still a reality for most in the industry. So what can technology do to help address this and make things easier for people giving their all to it?

The mobile revolution is finally hitting construction.

The past 3 years has seen a revolution in mobile adoption in construction – data and information are available to everyone from the smartphone in their back pocket. The Google search term “Construction technology” has remained constant over the last 10 years. But then in the last year has shot up 500% – the time is now for technology in construction.

There is a downside to the democratisation of mobility and technology. While the proliferation of applications in the construction technology space has produced a wealth of data and information it is sitting in silos untapped. Therefore, applications need to be rationalised and the dots joined between solutions to make the most of the rapid digitisation of the industry.

Taking advantage of digitisation and mobilisation.

How can we do this? Everyone is aware that construction is not a single phase activity. Understanding the interrelationships between the various aspects of construction is important to realising the value of the data and improving industry performance.

An example of this is to understand the definition of risk in construction – the plan vs what actually happens. How to mitigate risk in construction? Use data analytics to understand those risk factors in advance. As famed management guru, Peter Drucker advised – “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review has shown that companies, who use data to drive decisions, are 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.

However, construction companies are not taking advantage of the leverage that technology and the data it provides could afford them. In a recent KPMG global survey of construction companies, 69% of construction leaders rank themselves as followers or behind the curve of technology adoption.

Construction industry the laggards of the digital economy.

The construction still lags behind all other industries in technology adoption. However, this means there is huge untapped potential for productivity and efficiency gains to be addressed through technology uptake.

The industry is at a tipping point of technology adoption and Acuite Construction Intelligence is at the forefront. We’re ready to deliver smart business analysis solutions to construction companies. Best of all using company’s existing programmes and data sources to do so.

Hear more about the opportunities technology can provide to the construction industry. Come and listen to Antonia and David speak at Auckland Build at 1.50pm on Wednesday 16th November.

More insights from the event.

Learn more about what the first panel thought about ‘Construction Excellence and Business Intelligence‘.

Find out more about what the panelists had to say from the second panel ‘Successful Implementation of Technology into Construction Companies‘.