MEED magazine published an analysis on the impact of digital solutions, and their widespread adoption, in pushing the construction industry in the Middle East towards recovery after the turmoil, and innovation in ways of thinking and working across different industries following the spread of the Corona virus last year.
She pointed out that the pandemic confused most industries and pushed them outside their comfortable range to adopt environments that adopt digital solutions, explaining that the construction industry is certainly not an exception to this saying, and that efficiency and keeping pace with technological developments are essential for the construction industry to advance and continue to prosper.
The development of digital practices in the construction sector before the Coronavirus was very slow, despite efforts to advance initiatives such as building information modeling and geographic information systems, and the construction industry was among the least digital industries in the world, according to the McKinsey Global Institute Digitization Index in 2016.
McKinsey & Company said that using digital technology and practices to boost the productivity of the construction industry to keep pace with the overall economy would boost the sector’s value by about $ 1.6 trillion, and could add about 2 percent to the global economy, or the equivalent of meeting about half of the world’s infrastructure needs.
She added that the pandemic posed a challenge to traditional operations and platforms in the construction sector, as for an industry that relies on manual and on-site work, site closures, fewer employees, and the need for more communications and remote monitoring have greatly increased the use of digital practices.
She indicated that many institutions are now taking advantage of technology to stay on target and within budget, and to help the industry recover, as the current efforts have led to provide a platform for knowledge and capabilities that can be built upon for future technologies, explaining that the use of information modeling has also led to building costs, increasing efficiency and improving Collaborating on projects, as well as modernizing operations, promoting the use of innovative platforms, as well as attracting young talent to continue leadership.
She pointed out that the construction sector is still at the beginning of the digital transformation journey, and therefore there are still many challenges to be faced, stressing that before focusing on the technological limitations of the industry, it is necessary to look at the readiness of the workforce to embrace digitization, and if the construction sector employees are not equipped with the resources and mentality. And appropriate solutions to adopt technology, any strategy that involves digital transformation will be doomed to failure.
She noted that complex new processes bring with them the need for training, and thus despite the importance of digital transformation, the skills of the workforce must be improved in parallel.
Hence, she clarified that many organizations aim to achieve this by providing employee development programs, stating that this is not a long-term solution, but rather that the industry and academia must collaborate to design and deliver work-based educational programs to equip the future generation of professionals to lead a more creative digital industry. .