On-Site Magazine

Canadian construction firms still getting low marks for digital maturity, report finds

May 26, 2021   By On-Site Staff

Construction firms still struggle to adopt new technologies, despite the potential of new solutions to boost productivity. PHOTO: Adobe Stock/Kosssmosss

Integrating new technologies remains a challenge for Canadian construction firms, despite the “significant opportunity” in adopting new innovations, a new report from the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and KPMG, finds.

Just one in four respondents to an industry survey conducted last December, for instance, said they were in a considerable or great digital-maturity position relative to competitors, with 75 per cent rating their digital maturity as “fairly low.”

“The industry is on the cusp of digital transformation with leading firms already adopting technology — from analytics to drones, robotics, 3D printing, and augmented reality — to yield improved productivity, safety and decision-making,” Mary Van Buren, the CCA’s president, said in a release. “Our survey reveals, however, that smaller and medium-sized firms are not yet capitalizing on the benefits technology can bring. For many contractors, the low bid model simply does not allow for innovation or to invest in new technologies.”

Deciding what technologies to turn to remains an obstacle. Nearly 60 per cent of respondents admitted their organization “needs to moderately or considerably” adapt their digital strategy, but most are unsure what solutions will offer them a competitive advantage.

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The stakes are high. The report finds construction firms that embrace digital transformation will find themselves more productive, while improving both costs and job site safety.

“Digital innovation is a continuing process, not an end game,” said Lorne Burns, KPMG’s national industry leader for Building, Construction and Real Estate, in a release. “Many construction entities rely on legacy systems, and those that improve their competitive positioning will use this time as an opportunity to integrate disparate systems and adopt new ways of operating.”

 

The full report is available here.


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