Challenges in adopting technology in construction
What are the limitations in the use of technology?
Whilst embracing new technology amongst the construction industry, there are some challenges and motivations for adopting these technologies that are different from some contractors to others.
The more likely organisations to embrace technology systems are the ones that are already using digital tools to tackle various issues they are facing within their projects. The more sophisticated organisations may present a shallower method and would probably sign up for using digital only because it seems interesting and innovative but ultimately leading to uncertainty of what to use it for. Some others would see such opportunities as an investment and are open to lead in a particular technology only because their clients would buy their services under this innovative umbrella which would help organisations win work (CITB Research, 2018).
Very often across the construction industry, technology is not seen as a solution to the problems encountered but more as a burden in some cases. As such, problems always persist and processes continue in a less efficient manner. Also, the lack of understanding creates limitations towards using technology. It is crucial to understand the benefits of the technology used in construction as to the extent of problem-solving because on the contrary, investing in digital tools to facilitate construction businesses would prove to be pointless.
Implementing digital construction methods can be frustrating at times especially when there is no clear understanding of why and how these methods shall be used. As a result, having justified investments in new digital tools it is also important on focusing on acquiring technologies that address specific problems identified on site. Some adopted technologies may result in being used for the wrong purposes or not being able to fix the problem they’ve been adopted for which is budget and time consuming (CITB Research, 2018).
Why are there limitations in adopting the digital?
Individuals from the construction industry are most likely passionate and open to how data is improving efficiency and productivity and how it transforms their companies and the industry to a wider level now (CITB Research, 2018).
However, they also may feel that their businesses require a much more improved way of using data and take it to a higher extent. One limitation is when they fail to forecast what effects does data have in practice. Another limitation whilst adopting digital tools in construction which are often referred to as BIM requires skills development around it and this comes often as being misunderstood.
In addition, data and digital tools are also used incorrectly by people who are not aware of how to use them. The major limitation faced within the adoption of technology in construction relies on gaps in communication between the manpower who work on site and those who are leading the construction firms.
Sometimes, problems faced on site are not reported to the back office, so here’s where technology should be problem-solving.
Once the problem does not get communicated to the back office, the whole construction company can miss on opportunities to identify and try to solve systemic problems or share solutions.
A solution to these cases is by contributing information that can be used to make a business case for investment.
CITB Research, 2018, Unlocking Construction’s digital future: A skills plan for industry. Limitations in the use of technology, pp. 18-19.
CITB Research, 2018, Unlocking Construction’s digital future: A skills plan for industry. What is causing the limitations in the adoption of technology?, pp. 22.