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Digital transformation in the construction industry: challenges and opportunities

The digital revolution has left an indelible mark on a wide range of industries, and construction is no exception. As technology redefines the boundaries of efficiency and innovation, the implementation of digital solutions in the construction sector has become vital to meet current and future challenges. Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in the IT Meeting “Keys in the digitalization of construction companies in the face of the challenges of 2023”, organized by MCPRO and MuyPymes, in which together with some prominent personalities from the construction industry we analyzed the current panorama of the sector. Today I recover and analyze the issues that emerged and their implications for the industry.

Overcoming Resistance to Change: Towards BIM Adoption

A palpable barrier preventing faster adoption of digitalization in construction is the resistance to change rooted in traditional culture. Despite the tangible benefits of digitalization, lack of awareness and fear of technology persists among professionals. To overcome this obstacle, education, training and a change in perception is required. Digital transformation should not be seen as a threat to jobs, but as a tool that complements and improves operations. The focus should be on empowering people to see technology as an opportunity.

In this context, the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) emerged at the colloquium as a crucial topic. BIM goes beyond traditional designs and has become a platform for collaboration between the different professionals involved in a project. In addition to improving communication and planning, BIM enables detailed analysis and simulations that improve efficiency. However, BIM adoption presents challenges such as lack of technical knowledge, required investment, and integration with existing systems. We’ll see what’s in store for him in the coming years…

Security and technological challenges: Innovation and future

Another topic discussed at the colloquium was data security, which also emerges as a critical concern in digitalized construction. The widespread use of online file-sharing services poses risks of leakage of confidential information. The lack of control over shared files, as well as possible exposure to security vulnerabilities, are problems that must be addressed exhaustively and action must be taken as soon as possible. Additionally, cybersecurity must be a top priority, requiring training for all staff, from management to production workers.

Despite this and other challenges, the construction industry is no stranger to innovation. A good example that was mentioned in the colloquium was the adoption of drones for inspections and the application of different technologies, which show that the sector is advancing. However, the path to full digitalization is gradual and requires a unified effort, especially in an environment where talent shortages are emerging as a growing challenge. To be successful in digital transformation, there must be committed leadership that understands that this is not just an investment in technology, but in the very future of the industry.

Within the colloquium, one point on which everyone agreed is that, in the context of digitalization in the construction industry, an essential component to improve productivity and efficiency is the adoption of an ERP business management system. By offering a panoramic view of operations and enabling more informed decision-making, ERP systems empower construction companies to optimize their workflow, reduce duplication of tasks and accelerate project delivery. Additionally, real-time data integration and the ability to generate accurate reports contribute to more effective management and the creation of a solid foundation for strategic decision-making in a constantly evolving environment.

In summary, this colloquium allowed us to obtain an expanded and contrasted vision of the reality of construction companies. Digitalization is shaping the construction industry in profound and significant ways. As the adoption of technologies such as BIM advances and cultural barriers are overcome, the industry is on its way to reaching new heights of efficiency and excellence. Digitalization is not just an option, but a necessity to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world. The challenge is clear, but the opportunities are equally immense.

Signed: Ignacio Salazar – Head of Cegid Sigrid

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