This article is part of series focused on the benefits, challenges and impact of digital transformation on the construction industry and how companies can embrace change.
For technology to work effectively, companies need to align people and processes with the technology.
There is a wide spectrum of current technological capabilities at companies throughout the construction industry, spanning from entirely manual process all the way to very high integration and use of a single solution to cover most processes.
The challenge for most construction organizations is evaluating the level of engagement that works best for their organization. Technology implementations are meant to support business needs, enhance capabilities, and simplify processes. Embracing technology can be aided by:
Choosing Practical Technology
Practical technology involves the design, development, and creation of systems that are useful, effective, and efficient in solving tangible problems or inefficiencies. Practical technologies should be scalable, fairly-priced and should fill the needs of companies today and in the future. Clearly identify the business need first, then choose the practical technology to support that need.
Requiring Ease of Use
Technology implemented should be designed with the user experience in mind and should be straightforward and intuitive to operate. Easy-to-use technology should be accessible and integrated, while meeting the needs of the business. The technology should be adaptable to allow end-users of all skill levels to utilize and embrace it.
As with implementation of any technology, it should be able to exchange information with other solutions already in place. Interoperability refers to the systems communicating and working together seamlessly without manual intervention. Seamless integration is the buzzword here. The goal is to eliminate any barriers to the exchange of information to improve system efficiency, reduce costs and complexity, and mitigate data quality risks.
Integrating Digital Workflows
Similarly, to interoperable systems, integrated digital workflows aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness of exchanging information, but focuses on the actual integration of processes in a workflow, which is discussed in our previous article. By ensuring digital workflows are integrated in an organization, it provides a whole host of benefits ranging from increased efficiency of internal processes, to increased labor productivity, and to risk management/reduction.
Any technology implementation should go through a discovery phase to verify and approve the design, cost, safety, and implementation aspects to ensure that it fits the needs of the organization. Additional due diligence should be performed through a planning phase to vet vendors and discuss pricing. Finally, an implementation team should set goals and measure results to determine ROI. Leveraging service providers and engaging experienced outside help can help ensure proper project milestones are considered, established, and met.
Throughout our series we’ve considered how digital workflows are positively impacting companies throughout the construction industry, seen how technology can help mitigate industry-wide challenges, heard some common challenges faced when implementing technology, and learned to embrace technology adoption by taking a pause to align people and process.
Change and uncertainty cause disruption in any industry, but clarity can be gained by discovering the problem and understanding business needs, planning for the right path forward, and executing on the strategy to promote an environment to allow for a successful technology implementation.
The Schneider Downs Digital Transformation team leverages technological innovations and our business expertise to develop strategic transformative solutions that drive business process improvement for organizations of all sizes.
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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.