The 2020 pandemic is increasing the speed of digital change in construction. At a LetsBuild webinar two-thirds of respondents said that the pandemic would accelerate increased digitalisation and investment in technology.

As ‘Digital by Default: Construction After Covid-19‘ notes:

…rapid change is the reality of the current COVID-19 crisis – especially for the construction industry. With an unprecedented impact on the global industry, companies have been forced to rapidly [adopt] innovative solutions to keep the wheels turning on construction sites

Digital by Default, by LetsBuild

Many sectors have been experiencing a significant increase in the use of digital tools – from my perspective, paper-based and wet-signed contracts do not help you manage a project if you cannot access that contract, whether working remotely in an office or on-site.

McKinsey, whose 2016 article on imagining construction’s digital future placed us second from the bottom of global sectors in terms of digitalisation, now state that we are in a new era:

Businesses that once mapped digital strategy in one- to three-year phases must now scale their initiatives in a matter of days or weeks

Digital Strategy in a Time of Crisis 2020

What should you do?

After the initial frenetic activity of the pandemic, you will need to decide how to best tread the path of digitalisation.

Be strategic, pragmatic and innovative. The contracting culture may be very different. And people will have changed – sometimes fundamentally and often permanently – how they can and want to work. Reflect on what has really worked for you, your staff, your clients and your project partners.

You should use your results from the imposed changes to influence how you move forward with future digital innovations.

Don’t look back! The old ways of doing construction weren’t always that good anyway.

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