A Digital Transformation is a Cultural Transformation

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In recent years, the construction industry, like many other sectors, has had to accelerate its adoption of technology to help drive better business and operational outcomes. Traditional manual processes simply aren’t feasible in today’s environment, which includes ongoing labor shortages, larger more complex projects, tighter timelines, greater customer oversight and increased sustainability requirements.  

One of the key areas that industry experts believe will be essential to success in 2024 is digitalization. The Deloitte Engineering and Construction 2024 Outlook points to the advancement of digitalization as essential to mitigating workforce, cost and supply chain challenges. While architects, engineers, contractors and owners have largely bought into the idea of at least some automation, greater commitments, which require larger investment, often comes with too many unknowns and a difficult-to-measure ROI.

There’s no out-of-the-box answer to a successful digital transformation; but every firm needs a comprehensive digital strategy that focuses on people, processes and solutions. That strategy likely includes emphasis on field applications as well as field-to-office connections. But digitalization requires much more than investment in technology that automates data collection and sharing; it requires a cultural shift.

A recent research study published by engineering.com outlined three key factors that are integral to every successful digital strategy: inclusivity, upskilling and a collaborative mindset.

Consider the importance of attracting women to the industry: A number of studies show that diversity is integral to performance. A study from the Peterson Institute found that companies who were in the top 25% in gender diversity of their workforce were 46% more likely to outperform their industry average. Credit Suisse’s survey found that companies produced 10% higher cash flow returns, when women make up half of the senior managers.

Upskilling, or teaching employees new or enhanced skills, is also essential in today’s increasingly digital environment. Without education and support, new solutions will have limited success in any company.

The collaborative mindset is the third necessary ingredient to any successful digital strategy. Selecting the right technology that fits your firm’s unique workflows requires that everyone on the team is part of the transformation.

To read more on the key elements for any technology transformation, see the research report put together by U.S. CAD An ARKANCE Company and published on engineering.com.

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