Advanced analytics and digital transformation – is this a game changer for the construction and infrastructure industry?

by   |    |   3 minutes  |  in Construction and Contracting, Digital Transformation, Research, Strategy   |  tagged , , , , , , , ,

87% of enterprises believed that big data/analytics will change the competitive landscape of their industries within three years.

The data-driven, digital asset lifecycle is causing huge disruption for organizations in the construction and contracting industry. I predict that the companies that adopt these new technologies will be the winners of the future. Ignoring these trends could be fatal.

Many different digital technologies are starting to have a huge impact on how construction projects are delivered and how assets are subsequently being operated and maintained. These technologies include building information modeling (BIM), 4D and intelligent scheduling, 3D printing, drones, mobility, laser scanning, robotics and automation, virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, big data and analytics.

Here are some facts and questions to consider:

  • We are moving from a document-driven world to a data-driven world
  • This data is going to become BIG
  • How do we use analytic tools to drive intelligent actions and decisions?
  • Are we still running our business using Excel spreadsheets? This is not going to be good enough anymore
  • Expect to see new, technology-aware companies enter the market
  • Digital transformation is not just a technology trend, it is at the center of business strategy
  • Is my workforce technology-aware and do we need more young people to enable my business to make this digital transformation?
  • Have you a budget set aside for this digital transformation?

If we focus just on big data and analytics, the market is projected to exceed $500 billion by the end of the decade, according to Wikibon. Not surprisingly, an Accenture/GE study showed that 87 percent of enterprises believed that big data/analytics would change the competitive landscape of their industries within three years, and 89 percent believed that companies failing to adopt a big data/analytics strategy imminently risked losing market share and momentum.

If you are involved in operating and maintaining assets and infrastructure, it is true that the biggest focus area is around asset performance management, analytics, big data and predictive maintenance. The internet of things will enable this vision to be realized on a grand scale by allowing real-time information about the asset’s condition, operating performance, location, etc. to be collected and analyzed.

Construction companies who are only involved in the build phase of an asset may think that the IoT, big data and analytics agenda is only relevant to the asset owner, client or operation and maintenance providers. It is, however, likely that these companies are going to be driven towards a different style of commercial contract as the asset owners move towards contracts that are based on asset performance and outcomes; a requirement that is going to affect the majority of construction companies in the not too distant future.

So, will companies that just build assets be successful in the future?

The performance targets and expected outcomes of the asset will have to be considered when the asset is being designed. One of the other big pressure points is BIM. BIM adoption has accelerated over the last few years, fueled in some countries, by government programs. The reason for this is quite simple. Governments have less money to spend since the financial crisis and they need to build assets faster and at a lower cost. It is about reducing the total cost of an asset through its life, often referred to as TOTEX: TOTEX = CAPEX+OPEX.

For more information about this digital revolution, read the big data and analytics white paper, Advanced analytics and the digital transformation of the construction and infrastructure industry.


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