How Technology is Disrupting the Construction Industry

How Technology is Disrupting the Construction Industry



The rate of digital disruption is escalating in almost every industry. However, despite being one of the fastest-growing industries globally—construction has been one of the last to get hit.


Today’s infographic from Raconteur ranks the adoption of emerging technologies that will have a major impact on the industry’s processes and bottom line. The technologies help solve four major challenge areas that the construction industry struggles with: productivity, safety and training, labor shortages, and collaboration.


Which technologies could improve the lives of industry workers, and which technologies may pose a threat to their jobs?

Towards a New Dimension


Output from the global construction industry is expected to rise to $12.7 trillion in 2022, up from $10.6 trillion in 2017. Despite this promising outlook, the industry has gained only 1% of productivity in the last 20 years due to lack of digitization. This creates an opportunity for an added $1.6 trillion by innovating in this area.


According to the infographic, the industry is divided when it comes to the current state of digital transformation. Almost half (46%) of construction companies self-identify as having been on a path towards digital transformation for some time, while 41% see their company as only in the very early stages of digital transformation.


The Spectrum of Tech Adoption


The technology adoption spectrum ranks construction companies by their stages of innovation and rate of technological adoption, using data from the KPMG Future-Ready Index.


Technologies that have the highest adoption rates in the top 20% of companies (considered innovative leaders), are as follows:


  1. Building Information Modeling (BIM): 86%

  2. Basic data analytics: 83%

  3. Project management and information systems: 79%

  4. Drones: 72%

  5. Mobile platforms: 69%

BIM is a 3D modeling system that creates depictions of manufacturing facilities, buildings, and highways. While 3D modeling is widely used in construction today, next-generation 5D BIM represents both the physical and functional aspects of a project, and considers a project’s cost and schedule in addition to the standard parameters of 3D BIM.


Meanwhile, for the bottom 20% of companies (considered behind the curve), the rate of adoption can be low or even non-existent for many key technologies. Here are the ones with the lowest adoption rates within this group:

  1. Cognitive machine learning: 0%

  2. Robotics: 0%

  3. Artificial intelligence: 0%

  4. Machine engineering and design: 3%

  5. 3D printing: 7%

Both employers and employees are hesitant about adopting new technologies, due in part to the lack of knowledge surrounding them. More specifically, 29% of companies agree that lack of knowledge is a barrier for adoption, while 38% believe that it is due to lack of budget. A further 38% believe it is the lack of support from employees that inhibits mass adoption.


Despite these barriers, 52% of innovation leaders claim that technologies like artificial intelligence and cognitive machine learning will become commonplace within the industry over the next five years.


The Long-term Impact


Construction companies are now in a race to go digital, with the hope that technology will enhance profitability while also fending off competitors.


In total, 70% of construction companies believe that those who do not adopt digital tools will go out of business. Further, most believe digitization will improve productivity, speed of delivery, and help meet sustainability challenges.


Read the full article on Visual Capitalist here.

  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • Facebook
  • YouTube - Grey Circle

© 2020 Cloud A2K