Differentiate through digital investment - Deloitte

By Dominic Ellis
Digital is moving business decisions from reactive to predictive and could enable E&C firms to outpace their competition, according to Deloitte research...

Digital is moving business decisions from reactive to predictive and could enable E&C firms to outpace their competition, according to Deloitte research.

In a Deloitte post-election poll, 76% of E&C executives indicate that they are likely to invest in at least one digital technology in 2021 and it is likely to be a priority on CIOs' growth agendas. 

Here are some specific areas and opportunities of digital initiatives that could enable E&C companies to differentiate themselves: 

  • Technologies such as building information management (BIM) can help enhance real-time project visibility, eliminate cost overruns, and accelerate the development timeline. Further applications of BIM into offerings that incorporate energy efficiency and facilities management for comprehensive lifecycle project management are also emerging. 
  • Digital supply networks can help to calibrate demand and supply by ensuring constant material availability using machine learning and cognitive computing. This could help solve for a key challenge that 54% of contractors surveyed in a recent study indicate: the shortage of at least one construction material.
  • Digital twin technologies can help make use of 3D data to generate building profiles and blueprints of building parts and components in real time, driving visibility and operational improvements across the building life cycle.
  • Autonomous rovers and drones can help conduct remote site inspections. This can not only help improve worker safety, but also enhance productivity for inspection operations. 
  • After project delivery, predictive maintenance technologies can help E&C firms better manage assets and equipment. Preventing any equipment downtime can increase efficiency and ensure on-time project delivery. 

The research complements a new report from Virgin Media and CEBR which highlights how COVID-driven digital change could be a £232 billion opportunity for the UK economy (click here). 

Digital transformation has prompted flexible working, digital delivery of services and richer data for analytics and AI.

New tech spends in commercial sectors such as construction, professional services, and retail could spur a £40 billion rise in GDP. The digital transformation uplift in construction could be worth £3 billion by 2040, raising the sector to £167 billion.

"The construction sector has the potential to become a field in which digital solutions will save time and money," the report states. "This is particularly true for smaller administrative tasks and projects where virtual work technology can allow for different companies along the supply chain to collaborate in real time and deliver remotely."

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