The New Age of Engineering and Construction Technology
New technologies are transforming all stages of the engineering and construction process. Here’s what companies need to know about the evolving landscape.
The engineering and construction (E&C) industry is at the cusp of a new era, with technology start-ups creating new applications and tools that are changing how companies design, plan, and execute projects. By providing advanced software, construction-focused hardware, and analytics capabilities, these innovative start-ups are eliminating many of the problems that have dogged the E&C sector for decades, including difficulties compiling and sharing project information. Such improvements could not come at a better time, since construction projects are becoming increasingly complex and expensive, putting managers under greater pressure to improve costs, timelines, and efficiency.
Many E&C companies have begun incorporating new construction technologies into their daily activities, but most of their efforts have focused on software tools for digital collaboration. The reasons for this narrow focus vary, but some players hesitate to expand into any other area because they have traditionally struggled to deploy new tools at scale, limiting their impact. The modest returns they’ve seen to date make these companies reluctant to explore additional productivity-enhancing technologies, especially those requiring substantial investment. Other companies are simply unfamiliar with tools and solutions in areas beyond digital collaboration.
To help E&C companies navigate the landscape and develop more effective deployment strategies, we analyzed more than 1,000 construction-software start-ups and their products. First we identified common use cases for which software tools are being developed across all project phases (design, preconstruction, construction, and operations and management). These include activities such as managing performance or monitoring safety. We then examined investment patterns to determine if solution providers are shifting their resources to different applications, since this could provide hints about tools that may soon hit the market.
This article focuses on current and future use cases related to the construction phase of projects because that is the most complex and time-consuming phase in the E&C process. As part of our analysis, we also reviewed data from McKinsey Global Institute’s Construction Productivity Survey, which received responses from more than 200 senior E&C executives. The survey data helped us understand common challenges that arise when companies deploy and scale up digital solutions, as well as possible mitigation strategies.
Accessed on 22-03-2020 at 9:30 p.m WIB