With the need to improve productivity, ensure regulatory compliance and achieve better financial planning, good data has never been more important to construction businesses. It is also clear that digitalisation has an important role to play.
Recently we collaborated with a market research specialist to find out more about where the UK construction is in terms of digitalisation, the factors that are driving progress and what is holding it back.
The respondents to the research were senior individuals within businesses of all sizes, both in construction and civil engineering. One of the key areas that the research focused on was the standardisation and integration of business and project data.
Key findings on data standardisation
The findings of the research show that one of the most important outcomes of digitalisation for many businesses is an improvement in the accuracy of data, with 49% identifying this as a driver for adoption. Also, 41% said they are looking for digital tools that allow access to more real time data. However, it is also clear that the integration of different types of data to provide richer insights is also increasingly important to businesses. 93% of respondents agreed that the integration of finance, commercial and operational data would benefit their business.
Benefits of integrated software solutions
When asked about the specific advantages that they expect, or have experienced, as a result of integrated software solutions, respondents identified a number of positive effects. The benefit selected by the largest number of people (47%) was ‘increased ability to complete the project on time’. Increased efficiencies (39%) and ‘improved supplier / internal buy-in’ (37%) were also important advantages among the respondents. In addition, ‘end to end visibility across a project’ was seen as a particular benefit among the non-senior management and technical respondents – selected by 40% of this group.
Challenges with integrations still prevalent
However, despite these benefits, many of the surveyed organisations have not been able to achieve high-levels of software and data integration. On average, businesses are currently using seven different industry-specific solutions and 59% of respondents said that they face challenges with integration. No respondent to the survey reported that they had achieved 100% integration of solutions and the largest proportion (43%) said that 26-50% of their industry-specific solutions are integrated.
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These findings highlight that while there are many advantages of data standardisation and integration, there is a need for construction industry organisations to adopt solutions that allow this to be achieved.
To explore the full research findings and read the commentary from our panel of industry experts, download the full report.