Over the last decade, we’ve seen the rapid uptake of digital technology across many industries. The ease and convenience afforded by the digital space has helped save business costs in the long run as well as offer customers better solutions. From improving communication and collaboration to getting access to analytics data as well as tabulating staff and customer experience – the advantages of digital technology are endless. Nowadays, for a company to be successful, they need to be investing and adopting digital innovations to help reach their goals and stay ahead of competitors. All industries, including the construction industry in Australia has turned to digital technologies to improve and innovate their business solutions. In this article we’ll discuss what embracing digital technologies looks like in this industry.
What type of digital technologies can change the construction industry?
There’s a vast array of tech that have been adopted by construction sites: from drones, 3D printers and laser scanners to virtual reality programs and the internet of things. It is very likely that sometime in the near future getting your builders license could include having the skills and knowledge to adequately operate these sorts of digital technologies. One of the key emerging digital tech in the construction industry is called: the digital twin. This technology essentially allows a digital replica of a physical entity; the virtual replica is housed in the cloud and can collect important data on the performance of the actual physical item in real-time. This tech will also allow users to control construction equipment in real-time. This is a great feature for remote working conditions – and as we’ve seen in 2020 could be a key aspect when disruptions like this pandemic happens. This technology allows the virtual replica and its physical partner to communicate with each other; maneuver the physical equipment virtually and at the same time the physical equipment will send stats, analytics and data on its performance to the virtual partner making maintenance easier. This technology is also a great way to improve safety on construction sites. It is also a form of technology that can be implemented by smaller construction companies, offering more accessibility to smaller players within the industry.
Roadblocks to adopting digital technology in the construction industry
Like any form of change or disruption to traditional forms of working, there are roadblocks to implementing digital technology in the construction industry, which was only further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A study by IDC called Digital Transformation: The Future of Connected Construction highlight three of the biggest roadblocks reported by companies in Asia Pacific: integrating digital projects across the organisation, creating a strategic roadmap for digital investments and finding key performance indicators and metrics to measure digital success. Most companies are still in the first two stages of digital transformation which are mostly ad hoc and opportunistic implementations of these technologies. And while this is great for a trial process and potentially to get used to operations using digital tech, it doesn’t always help with the holistic implementation of digital tech across the board. It’s not just about having these technologies, with it comes changes to workflows, business structures as well as practices for the most effective use of digital technologies. However, this also means there’s a huge opportunity for growth in the construction industry. For those who have left, maybe consider getting an rpl certificate to see how you can play your part in innovating this thriving industry.
The path forward to a future that embraces the digital
There are still ways to go when it comes to implementing digital technology across the entire construction sector in Australia; but the good news is that more and more companies are recognising its importance and taking active steps to move in that direction. Startups in this sector will also need to continue to grow and mature, establishing better relationships and communication with relevant stakeholders. There’s a huge potential in Australia to be pioneers when it comes to digital transformation in the construction industry.