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Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Digital Adoption in Construction

Digital solutions have the power to transform the construction industry. As a resilient and innovative industry, the integration of new technologies into traditional workflows is already underway.

There are many potential benefits of digital adoption: increased productivity, improved project management, enhanced collaboration, reduced errors, faster decision making, better cost control, and ultimately, higher project success rates.

However, there remain some barriers to adoption. We explain what these barriers are and share strategies for overcoming them.

Resistance to Change

Perhaps one of the largest barriers to digital adoption in construction, as is the case in many other industries, is resistance to change. Many professionals, having been in the industry for a long time, are accustomed to conventional methods and may be hesitant to embrace new technologies.

Overcoming Resistance to Change

Change need not happen all at once. Investing in scalable solutions that can adapt to an organisation’s needs and scale with project requirements is a way to begin the digital transformation in a way that isn’t overwhelming.

Digital champions should work with their colleagues to showcase the benefits of digital solutions and encourage adoption. By emphasising that technology can’t and won’t replace key professionals, and instead helps people carry out their work, resistance to new processes can be gradually eased.

Lack of Awareness & Education

Some stakeholders might lack awareness of the benefits and functionalities of digital tools. This lack of knowledge can hinder their willingness to invest in and utilise these technologies.

Addressing The Lack of Awareness

Education and training initiatives are essential for showing the industry the difference digital solutions can make and training people how to use them. For people wanting to introduce a new digital solution to a business, it is essential to highlight how these solutions can streamline processes and enhance productivity.

If you have successfully implemented new technology within your business, share your success stories with the industry to encourage change elsewhere.

Fragmented Workflows & Collaboration

Construction projects involve multiple stakeholders, leading to fragmented workflows. Integrating digital tools across various teams and ensuring collaboration can be challenging.

Creating Seamless Workflows & Enabling Collaboration

Fostering a culture of collaboration and change within the industry is key. Stakeholders at all levels need to be engaged with the digital transformation process with key figures involved in decision making and working to increase buy-in.

Many digital solutions were created with the fragmented nature of construction in mind and are actually created to help improve workflows and increase collaboration across the industry.

Cost Concerns

Initial investments in digital technologies, including software, hardware, and training, can be perceived as costly, with many SMEs and smaller businesses finding these costs prohibitive.

The Cost of Not Adopting Digital

Although the initial investment in digital may be costly, it can alleviate cost burdens elsewhere in the business and lead to long term cost savings – for example, a digital procurement platform could be used to help procurement teams secure better prices on materials.

Before investing in any new digital solution, ensure proper research is carried out and the teams who will need to use the product are briefed. By preparing properly for a new way of working, you can ensure that any money invested is used wisely.

Data Security & Privacy Concerns

Construction, like other industries, involves sensitive data, and ensuring the security and privacy of this information in digital system is a valid concern.

Tackling Security & Privacy Concerns

The implementation of robust security protocols and ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations are the foundations of protecting data.

Digital solutions often enhance data security because they remove some of the manual elements of recording data which improves accuracy. It’s possible to backup digital data as well, so it doesn’t risk being destroyed by things like fire or water as traditional paper-based records do.

When implementing a new digital solution, ensure you research the provider thoroughly and ensure they have security accreditations in place, such as Cyber Essentials.

Digital transformation isn’t about trying new tools for the sake of trying something new, it represents a cultural shift and a commitment to progress.

The construction industry needs to continue with its culture of continuous improvement and collectively embrace positive change.

By harnessing the power of digital, the industry is entering a new era of efficiency, collaborations, and unprecedented advancement.

An Easy Way To Begin Digital Transformation: The Build Chain

The Build Chain offers a quick and easy way to digitalise a traditionally manual process: materials procurement.

Our online platform transforms the process of buying materials. It replaces a variety of manual, repetitive tasks, such as searching for suppliers and calling to chase quotes. The result is a faster materials procurement process with significant potential for cost savings.

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