Digital Transformation in the Engineering and Construction Sectors

Digital transformation, is an aspect that today cannot go unnoticed by the organizations. The fact that there are new collaborative tools and even new ways of managing projects is proof of this. Andy Malone wrote an article that introduce some aspects to take account about the Digital Transformation in the Engineering and Construction Sectors.

Digital Transformation in the Engineering and Construction Sector

The rise of digital technology has led to some pretty significant changes in most of the major industries in the world. Things have been steadily changing in this regard since the earlier days of the 20th Century, but in the last few decades, the advancements have sky-rocketed.

If you鈥檙e unfamiliar with what this actually means, it鈥檚 basically just the utilization of digital means to improve the way in which a business will deliver value to its customers. There are some obvious cases where this would be useful.

Take the hotel industry for example. Digital transformation has allowed for hotels and similar accommodation establishments to change the way they take bookings. Before, it would all be conducted over the phone, and now it鈥檚 basically all online.

This allows for better and faster service for the customers, and the hotels themselves can take more bookings since they don鈥檛 have to rely on representatives who can only take one call at a time.

Similarly, look at banking. Instead of having to wait in line to speak with a teller, you can conduct most of your banking online or through an app. Now, you might think that more practical industries such as engineering or construction may not be applicable to digital transformation, but that鈥檚 not the case at all.

Engineering and Construction Sectors

It鈥檚 actually something that can be used to benefit these particular sectors in a big way. Some companies are already making avail of it, and those which aren鈥檛 are essentially being left behind.

It鈥檚 understandable why the chance is difficult for some companies in these sectors. The fact that every construction and engineering project is completely different and requires a different approach does make it hard to effectively utilize data from other projects.

There鈥檚 also the fact that a successful construction project requires a large variety of different workers in different fields, from builders to electricians to plumbers, and all of them would have to coordinate with each other and with the digital sector.

For engineers and construction workers who are used to working with their hands and conducting business using pen and paper, how to implement such dramatic alterations is something that they need to put the time into learning.

There are a few important steps involved which can help to aid the transition:

Introducing New Systems

The rise of a new digital ecosystem has happened as a consequence of technological advancements, and for a company to be a part of said ecosystem, they need to have access to the necessary technology.

There are numerous different kinds of software that will be useful. Firstly, to keep on top of all of the data that will be generated, and that means that there is a need for new data-processing technology.

The use of artificial intelligence can also be massively beneficial and can be used to plan out projects more quickly and to analyze projects as they are under construction in order to identify potential defects or other pitfalls.

Having a data-centric portal which allows everyone involved to be able to access all of the data necessary for them to be aware of, can ensure that there is transparency among the workers and stakeholders and that any issues get dealt with in a timely manner.

There are also new avenues for digital communication which should be set up, as well as the usage of organizational software which can be accessed by everyone so that tasks and deadlines will always be clear.

Acquire Digital Talent

While it would be wise to encourage engineers and construction workers already on the payroll to learn as much as they can about digital transformation and how they can implement it into their own work, it鈥檚 always useful to bring in some people who are already familiar with it.

Every company should have maybe 5-10 people involved who are experts on digital matters. A Project Information Manager should be hired to oversee the acquisition and subsequent application of these new systems.

You should also be sure to have several IT specialists who can give guidance to those who have less understanding of the new technology, and can also be available to try to solve any problems generated by said technology.

It鈥檚 also important to alter the way you train a new workforce in order to help people add at least a little bit of digital awareness to their repertoire. This should be something that all new employees are trained in at least on some level.

If you鈥檙e involved in the hiring process for expert digital talent, be sure to hire the right people. Do the necessary amount of research to determine what constitutes valuable skills and experience and factor that all into your decision making.

Establish Value

A hang-up that some of these companies will have is that they are unsure of how valuable digital transformation can actually be to them. A very valid concern, when you consider the fact that all of the new systems and the new talent will be costly.

It will go straight to the top of the business, and oftentimes the most senior positions of an engineering company will reject the notion of digital transformation on the basis of its overall cost.

That鈥檚 why the value of it needs to be established, and to do that, you have to look to your competition, as well as other companies who have made similar changes in the last few years and saw massive returns for it.

You will need to lay out a budget which justifies the reasons for spending so much money and what the results will be, and then make sure that those results are actually achieved.

There is no longer any doubt that for a company to succeed today, digital transformation is essential. And the engineering and construction sectors are no exception to this rule. Making the changes will be a long, expensive and difficult process, but they will most definitely be worth it long term.

 

Author

Andy MaloneAndy Malone

Vista Projects

Andy is an aspiring writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has an interest in business with a particular emphasis on the global oil and gas industry.

 

Mechanical Engineer & Project Manager.

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