Three quarters (75%) of UK and Irish decision makers have increased investment in digital transformation across the construction sector over the last three months, according to a survey of 200 construction leaders by construction software platform, Procore Technologies.
Economic volatility is catapulting the construction sector into a digital transformation era. Increased pricing of raw materials and equipment as well as the repeated production of rework are factors that are driving the market into the adoption of further digital infrastructure.
With one in two (49%) businesses expecting the number of projects to increase by up to 20% in the next 12 months, and 56% claiming they are somewhat confident in market conditions for the year ahead, industry optimism remains despite macroeconomic headwinds.
In the past, the UK has been keen to digitalise the construction sector with Building Information Modelling (computerised design processes) being made mandatory on all public sector construction projects. Bluebeam construction software which facilitates collaboration and project management is also well established in the UK construction sector.
Despite the general market positivity, an awareness of considerable sector challenges pervades the sector. The rising cost of raw materials and equipment, dealing with trade contractors and managing customer disputes as well as getting or issuing payments were ranked the top challenges for construction professionals in the 12 months ahead.
Additionally, respondents across the UK and Ireland revealed that, on average, 25% of a typical project’s time was spent on rectifying issues. In the UK alone, almost 3 in 10 (28%) put the figure even higher, estimating it consumed 26% – 50% of a typical project’s time. While in Ireland, 22% said the same.
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“In an environment where the pressures firms face come from the bottom line rather than the top, the scene is set for technology to play a greater role in driving the industry forward. This is backed up by almost half (44%) saying they plan to introduce construction management platforms into their business in the next 12 months,” said Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor, European vice president at Procore.