Global Construction Survey 2016 | KPMG | IE
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Construction industry struggling to adopt new technologies

Construction industry slow to embrace new technologies

Industry must consider how to better integrate technology into processes and culture.


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Partner & Head of Corporate Finance

KPMG in Ireland


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Despite huge investments in technology, the construction industry is struggling to gain the full benefits of advanced data and analytics, drones, automation, robotics and visualisation. That is the key finding from the Global Construction Survey 2016: Building a technology advantage (PDF, 10MB), the 10th annual state-of-the industry report from KPMG.

The survey of over 200 senior executives from both project owners and engineering and construction companies in Ireland and overseas highlights how technology can play an integral part in helping project owners realise their ambitions to create taller buildings, wider bridges, better transport systems and smarter, more livable cities. When applied effectively, technology can enable enhanced design, planning and construction in a sector that for many years has failed to improve productivity.

Commenting on the survey, Jim Clery, Partner and Head of Real Estate at KPMG in Ireland said: "The lesson from this year's survey is that to get real benefit from new innovations, engineering and construction companies and major project owners need a strong technology vision and must consider how they can better integrate technology into their processes and culture."

Survey highlights

  • A small minority of owners and engineering and construction companies are considered "cutting-edge" technology visionaries and only a fifth say they are aggressively disrupting their business models.
  • Integrated, real-time project reporting is still a myth, rather than a reality for most. Just a third of respondents use advanced data analytics to monitor project performance - and only a quarter say they can "push one button" to get all their project information.
  • There is more to come from mobile. It may have huge potential, but less than a third say their organisations use mobile routinely - and a similar proportion have no mobile platforms.
  • A mixed approach to other technologies. Less than half of respondents say their companies use drones, robotics or automated technology but remote monitoring on sites is more widespread.
  • Room for improvement in project management basics. Technology is no substitute for robust project management, as the continued high rate of project underperformance confirms, and the inability to drive consistency across projects is part of the problem: just under a third say their companies have truly consistent controls globally.

KPMG's Global Construction Survey provides an illustration of how the global engineering and construction industry has evolved since 2005. Touching on topics from risk management and underperforming projects to new sectors and opportunities, the publication has provided clients and advisors with critical insights into the trends and issues affecting the industry for nearly a decade. Read the full publication here (PDF, 10MB).

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