NEW DELHI: The construction industry globally is slow in adopting technology innovations despite a rise in project complexity and associated risks, according to a KPMG report.
Just 8% of the total 218 project owners and engineering & construction companies surveyed rank as ‘cutting edge technology visionaries’, while 64% of contractors and 73% of project owners rank as ‘industry followers’ or ‘behind the curve’ when it comes to technology, shows the report named Building a technology advantage – Global Construction Survey 2016.
“The survey responses reflect the industry’s innate conservatism towards technologies, with most firms content to follow rather than lead” says Geno Armstrong, International Sector Leader, Engineering & Construction, KPMG in the US. “Many lack a clear technology strategy, and either adopt it in a piecemeal fashion, or not at all.” Relatively high proportion of mid-size companies, with annual turnover between $1 billion and $5 billion, rank among the cutting edge technology visionaries.
From a regional perspective, a higher proportion of companies from the Americas and Europe are technology leaders, with Africa considerably behind other parts of the world. “For some, the cost and risk of adopting new technologies outweighs the perceived benefits, while others may be reluctant to move out of their comfort zone,” the report said. Almost three-quarters of the respondents don’t use advanced data analytics for project-related estimation and performance monitoring, while just 20% have a single, fully integrated project management information system (PMIS) across the enterprise.
Less than one-third of respondents say their organizations use mobile technology routinely — and a similar proportion have no mobile platforms. “Projects around the world are becoming bigger, bolder and more complex — and with complexity comes risk,” said Armstrong. “Innovations like remote monitoring, automation and visualization have enormous potential to speed up project progress, improve accuracy and safety,” he added.
In terms of India, the construction sector is expected to generate 7.5 crore jobs by 2022 and emerge as the largest employer in the country. The country is among the fastest growing construction market globally and is poised to become the third largest globally by 2025 with size of $1 trillion. More than 80% of project owners and contractors in India believe that project risks are increasing rapidly warranting adequate project management strategies to address these evolving, more complex risks.
“Select Indian contractors and project owners are now focusing towards adoption of evolved concepts such as centralised project management office coupled with project performance measurement and reporting systems such as project management information system, etc. The effectiveness of these concepts can further be enhanced with the usage of advanced technologies such as robotics, data analytics for purposes such as estimating, bidding, performance monitoring, etc,” said Neeraj Bansal, partner and head, building, construction and real estate sector, KPMG in India.
Credits ET Realty