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Technology: Construction Companies Reluctant to Spend on IT

By Dick Weisinger

The US and other countries are increasingly pushing the need to invest in large infrastructure projects.  These big projects are expected to push forward the global economy. PwC predicts that global infrastructure projects will reach $9 trillion by 2025.

But big projects are seldom easy and often do not go according to plan.  A survey by McKinsey found an astonishing 98 percent of all global “megaprojects” come in more than 30 percent over budget and 77 percent take 40 percent longer than originally forecast.

Despite this growth, construction companies aren’t spending enough on technology to keep up with the growing demands on their businesses.  For example, the JBKnowledge 2016 Construction Technology Report found that 70 percent of construction contractors spend less than 1 percent of their annual sales volume on IT. The report said that “despite the proliferation and improvement of technology, companies are still not allocating budget to employ it. This also supports the fact that the construction industry underspends cross-industry averages in regards to technology by upwards of 60% to 70%.”

But technology has the potential to improve productivity in the construction industry.

The McKinsey report found that “as with every other economic sector, technology will also play a role in improving construction productivity. Specifically, there are innovations in areas as diverse as 3-D printing, computer-aided design, laser and radar technology, and pipe laying that could make for faster, less mistake-ridden construction. ”


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