Digital Transformation In Construction – A Growing Need

The construction industry happens to be one of the largest industries in the world, with worldwide yearly spending on goods as well as services of more than $11 trillion in 2019 and is anticipated to grow by 3% every year. But as per a recent study, it still happens to be one of the least digitized industries.

Construction companies happen to be becoming more aware of the potential and also plan to invest more in terms of digital technologies. Due to this, the digital tech market within the construction sector, or construction 4.0 market as it is called, is all set to increase by almost $29 billion by 2027.

So, what does digital transformation mean when it comes to the construction sector?

For construction, digital transformation is all about harnessing the power of digital technologies so that the functions go on to become more efficient, productive, as well as safe. Digital technologies can be introduced both at a management level of construction organizations and well as the field level of construction sites.

What are the advantages of digital transformation in the construction sector?

The construction sector can go on to benefit from digital technologies in the following ways:

1. By way of productivity

A study done by McKinsey stated that the worldwide productivity growth of the construction sector averaged 1% a year in the past two decades, which is quite lower as compared to the other sectors. Digital technologies can enable elevating productivity by way of optimizing designing, planning as well as management of the building environment, along with other construction functions.

2. Growing safety and risk mitigation

Numerous risks happen to be involved when it comes to a construction project, and digital technologies can enable to mitigate those tasks. For instance, by way of using high-tech devices like laser scanners or even laser distance meters, field workers go on to gather essential data sans risking their lives.

3. High-quality building

Through digital technologies, human errors can get reduced in construction engineering as well as architecture tasks. It can go ahead and draft precise designs as well as documents and also enhance the complete modeling of the building.

4. Enhanced collaboration

Digital transformation can go on to offer a shared data environment, thereby making sure to better the collaboration between subcontractors as well as suppliers within a construction supply chain and also speeding up the workflow.

So, what are the challenges?

In the last few years, digital transformation within the construction sector has been pretty slow. The fact is that it is not an easy task, and like any other sector, construction goes on to face numerous challenges that thwart the digitization of the sector.

These challenges are:

1. Dearth in terms of alignment

A construction company goes on to work with numerous small as well as medium-sized contractors and suppliers. Executing digital technologies, when it comes to this scenario, becomes an issue because often the contracts happen to be short, and there is indeed a misalignment in the motivation of both parties.

Apart from this, even the cost can be a factor since suppliers often go ahead and work on small margins and cannot spare the cost of expensive technologies.


Working with suppliers that are digitally active happens to be having both short- and long-term advantages. One can as well incorporate long-term suppliers as well as vendors in the digital transformation journey. In terms of short-term suppliers, it can be advantageous to incorporate digital needs into the vendor selection process.

2. Distinct projects

It is often seen that distinct construction projects go on to need tailor-made design and delivery approaches. This can indeed make it pretty challenging to execute expensive digital technologies as well as customize them for the project. But this challenge does not apply in terms of long-term projects that go on to last for many years.


To execute such customizable as well as cost-effective digital solutions in the construction company, one must consider working with a service that goes on to offer the level of the need for customization. The present market goes on to offer a number of these digital solutions at prices that are competitive.

3. Poor management of data

The construction industry, apparently, has been collecting and managing data quite poorly for a while now. As per a report, poor data strategies went on to cost the global construction sector around $1.85 trillion in 2020. Since a large amount of data is needed to execute any digital technology in a business, poor data management issues in the sector can go on to be a barrier so as to implementing digital solutions.


The issue can very well be resolved by way of implementing more digital data management methodologies at operational as well as management levels and also integrating applications that are used when it comes to recording data by subcontractors as well as vendors.

4. Worker training issues

Getting employees or workers aboard happens to be crucial right before executing any sort of technology in any business. Since the construction industry goes on to rely on its aging workforce, there is indeed resistance to accepting new technologies. It can be pretty hard to train workers so they can make use of new digital technologies.


One would recommend leveraging low- or no-code software in order to make it easier for the workforce to make a shift from manual to digital solutions. Offering adequate digital training to retain employees is another way to transition.

What happen to be some major technologies that help the digital transformation in the construction sector?

– Historical big data can go ahead and also identify patterns and possibilities when it comes to risk, which can elevate the safety of a construction project.

– Apparently, big data can also be made use of to anticipate the weather, traffic, along with the most optimal environment for an elevated efficiency of the project.

– Artificial intelligence tech can also be made use of so as to make better building designs, and thereby elevate the building’s lifespan.

– AI can be utilised to automate tasks that are repetitive so as to increase productivity.

– Machine learning can be made use of to monitor work progress as well as help notify critical issues.

– Through the Internet of Things- IoT, smart machinery can go on to maintain itself. For instance, a cement mixer can go ahead and order cement automatically when it has a low mark.

– Geo-location can also be made use of so as to identify dangerous areas and, at the same time, notify workers before they go on to enter them.

– IoT-led smart devices like sensors along with tracking systems can be made use of so as to reduce waste at a construction site and also decrease the overall carbon footprint.

– Building information modelling- BIM happens to be an intelligent modeling tool that can go on to help review projects in real time and also enhance partnerships between engineers, architects, as well as other construction professionals.

– It guides the planning phase of a construction project so as to reduce clashes when it comes to different departments as well as human errors.

– Augmented reality- AR and virtual reality- VR technologies can help with fast as well as precise simulation when it comes to architectural and structural planning.

– It can also enable with risk mitigation in the construction process.

– Cloud technology can go on to help better manage as well as store operational data and can significantly go on to improve integration across subcontractors and suppliers within the construction value chain.

– It can also enable the reduction of data gaps that make go ahead and also cause problems while executing the new digital solutions.