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Digital Adoption in the Construction Industry


The time for digital solutions is now.

Digital transformation is no longer considered a trend. Digital technologies have improved production, enhanced efficiency, inspired people, and decreased costs in practically every business, and new developments are extending these advantages every day. However, innovation in the construction sector has always lagged behind that of other sectors, particularly when it comes to digital adoption.


Every day, new technologies are created to enhance construction work, and an increasing number of organizations in the sector are incorporating them into their operations. Through the use of analytics, automation, and robotics, technology integrates into the value chain to produce more predictable results. These, along with advancements in business contracts and project management strategies, are causing a significant change in the way the sector provides goods and services.


What is the motivation to adapt?

Because of the way that existing procurement procedures place a large portion of the project risk and associated expenses on contractors, many construction businesses have had little motivation to invest in technology. However, the advantages are starting to show. The industry is ready for considerable transition due to a decrease in the labour workforce, increases in competition, underpricing, and other negative market forces. Over the coming decade, businesses stand to gain a huge competitive advantage if they grab the digital opportunity and connect with others in their ecosystem.


What are the new technologies?

According to a survey done by the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and KPMG, an ideal transformation strategy will address three key areas: Supply chain integration, workforce, and data-driven project delivery. The survey found that most companies had not yet implemented a complete technology strategy into their organization. The most common areas of investment are:

  • Integrating systems to reduce redundancies
  • Improving back-office support
  • Reducing back-office cost
  • Improving the employee and customer experience
  • Enhancing business growth

The type of technology that can enable these improvements include:

  • Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics
  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Wireless monitoring and autonomous equipment
  • Augmented Reality
  • Cloud and real-time collaboration
  • Automated business growth tools


Construction margins are narrow, and public clients frequently negotiate rates as low as they can, leaving little room for innovative approaches that would raise their upfront costs. There may appear to be limited potential for investment and innovation as a result. However, there is more potential to influence change with clients in the private sector because they are more likely to quickly and readily adopt innovation. Once the public sector notices the advantages and changes in productivity brought on by innovation, they will follow.


There is no doubt that change has arrived. Construction companies all over the world are being transformed by a wave of technological disruption that is forcing the sector to adopt new methods of operation, and the Canadian market is the next to be affected. Through this transition, productivity will significantly increase, the workforce will be disrupted, and operating models will be updated. Gains in productivity and efficiency can be leveraged to alter the value chain and aid in bridging the growing infrastructure gap while preserving employment.

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