Eight in ten construction managers expect the coronavirus pandemic to bring about a “transformational shift” in the use of technology in the sector.
That’s according to a new survey by construction management software provider Procore, which has released the findings of an independent poll of 250 UK construction middle managers and above.
It found that amid challenges in keeping sites operational during covid-19, well over half (66%) of construction companies surveyed rolled out some sort of new technology during lockdown with the majority (94%) seeing an improvement in the way their teams work as a result.
There was also a recognition that businesses will likely need to build on a singular, integrated system in the future. The research showed 80% believe that platform technology will play a role in the future of how we work in construction, with almost half (38%) of these saying they can’t do their jobs as effectively without it.
The independent research defined platform technology as that which “connects business applications and stores relevant information all in one place, allowing applications and tech tools to talk to each other. A platform might be used to enable visibility over data or to standardise operations.”
Meanwhile, nearly 9 in 10 (86%) construction managers said they would use “one platform” if they could.
“With much around construction being disrupted, technology has proved the one constant and this is being increasingly realised by businesses. We’ve seen contractors proactively making the move away from manual methods and excel towards platform technology. Construction won’t be the same as it was before, with connectivity and mobility driving a new way of working,” said Brandon Olivieri O’Connor, director of UK and Ireland at Procore UK & Ireland.
“The emphasis will remain on the ability to connect people wherever they are – on one platform – so they can be productive and safe. Procore is one construction platform that connects the entire project team, from the office to the field and across companies, providing one place to work together to do what they do best – build. The result is a team that can run projects from anywhere, enabling them to do more and do it faster.”
Digital transformation has accelerated
Some 58% of the construction companies surveyed reported that they have seen a higher demand from workers for a way to stay connected and work more efficiently. The majority (56%) also said that they expected integrated platforms to assist the construction industry in its recovery after covid-19.
And having the option to reduce the number of staff onsite and social distance has allowed construction companies to comply with health and safety regulations. The majority of construction managers (52%) which rolled-out online collaboration and productivity technology solutions since lockdown said the safety for their teams has improved.