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Join the journey – the five steps to digital transformation

Join the journey – the five steps to digital transformation


Innovation in the digital sphere is on everybody’s minds, but how can you make it work for you? And where do you start?

Statistics tell us that 92 percent of engineering and construction organisations spend less than four percent of their budget on digital research and development. It is clear that for too long spending on technology has been lower in the sector than in other industries. And for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to keep abreast of the disruption that is impacting industries in every sector across the globe, this has to change.

But while the term ‘digital transformation’ has become increasingly ubiquitous, what does it actually mean in a practical sense? Gartner has defined it as “anything from IT modernisation (e.g. cloud computing) via digital optimisation to the invention of new digital business models”.

Understanding its implications is particularly important for the AEC industry because we can see once infallible firms going under, all while client expectations head ever upward.

With the demand for solutions that are ever faster, ever cheaper and always of a higher standard, AEC firms need all the help they can get. Technology is helping to address these challenges by identifying new ways of working that can bring real value to organisations. Yet many businesses are still reluctant to take that first step.

They should remember, however, that change has two faces and the other side of challenge is opportunity. Accordingly, in this space it helps to divide transformation processes and goals into two pillars:

  • using new digital platforms and technologies to replace manual processes and find new efficiencies, and
  • unlocking new business models and modes of operation through such technologies.

The time is now

Don’t wait for ideal conditions; they will never arrive. Begin your organisation’s journey to digital transformation today with these simple but essential steps.

  1. Evaluation – take a deep and honest inventory of your business, its strengths and, just as importantly, its flaws. Only then will you know what broken processes, inefficient workflows and siloed departments can be remedied by your new digitally focused approach.
  2. Baby steps – start small, consolidate and scale up. It works every time. Instead of overhauling the entire business overnight, perhaps just pick one strand, your paper-based processes for example, and update that first.
  3. People before process – whatever you do, make sure your team is onboard every step of the way. No radical or even half radical change will ever be successful if it’s not brilliantly and clearly communicated to a receptive workforce willing and able to commit to the process.
  4. Data dos and don’ts – yes, it’s true that digital transformation will enable you to collect reams and reams of data, but target this. Do not grab everything and anything you can just because you can. Identify what is most useful for your organisation, concentrate on this information and consider how you can utilise it most effectively.
  5. Help! – there’s nothing more overwhelming than jumping into a fundamental change in the way you actually operate your business. But there are experts out there who’ve walked the walk and talked the talk, and know exactly how to guide you on your journey. Find them, talk to them and face the future forewarned and forearmed. You’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.

To download Deltek’s full report, ‘Digital Transformation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction – 5 Steps to Success’, click here.

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