Insights into the ideas and innovations that are transforming project planning and delivery

  • March 1, 2018

Gathering momentum for digital adoption in the E&C industry

The path towards digital transformation—while no means an easy journey—is critical to the success of the E&C industry. Digital transformation will garner immense value and productivity gains, including: reduced cost overruns, improved quality and safety, better asset information for operations and maintenance, and on-time delivery. Digital transformation will fundamentally change the game in the E&C industry, according to The Boston Consulting Group.

Download: Five Keys to Unlocking Digital Transformation

The importance of digital adoption in the E&C industry

In our previous blog post, we revealed the crucial role people play in achieving digital transformation and the importance of cultivating and recruiting digitally savvy talent. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of digital adoption. How do you inspire your workforce to use, implement, and drive technological change—often the true test for organizations investing in innovation? The engineering and construction (E&C) landscape is continuously evolving, including the rise of digital technologies such as: drones, big data applications, augmented reality, BIM, and mobile interfaces. People must test, adopt, and optimize their innovations to truly attain the most from their ideas.

Readying the workforce for change

Adoption is critical for any digital transformation strategy—regardless of whether this is for processes, standards, new approaches to working, or technology. Some people may either resist trying new technology or question whether their workloads will increase—ultimately hindering collaboration and data management. Other workers will enthusiastically embrace the value new tools can bring. We understand how rare it can be to work with an entirely optimistic, open workforce within a complex, matrixed organization. Digital transformation starts from the top of an organization. New technology requires committed and strategically savvy senior management to produce a culture of change and innovation. Leaders must set the vision and take people on the digital transformation journey. Planning, readiness, and robust training (adapted to the different roles, needs, and business functions) are required to make the transition as easy for everyone as possible.

AECOM:  Leading by example

AECOM is a great example of a company encouraging digital adoption with an organization. Our latest report reviews how AECOM created a Center of Excellence (CoE) to foster the strategic need for technological change. The CoE team helps pilot the setup and motivates the workforce to assist implementing new technology. This specialized team ensures that technology innovations are scaled across the business while maintaining consistency in the delivery and rollout.

Conclusion:  Now is the time for digital transformation

A certain percentage of E&C professionals will most likely continue resisting new technology. Preparation and training are critical to effectively implement digital innovation and achieve measurable success. The global cost savings in E&C phases for non-residential projects are estimated to reach $1.2 trillion by 2027 as the industry continues to digitally transform. The gap between E&C and other industries will only continue to grow if idlers don’t join the digital transformation journey—now!

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