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Key strategies for effective technology adoption

Why do top-tier construction companies continue to struggle with realizing new technology’s full potential? According to Deloitte’s State of Digital Adoption in the Construction Industry report from 2024, 68% of businesses are planning to use AI, a significant increase from the previous year. At the same time, however, 42% of those businesses cite a lack of digital skills and technical guidance, as well as budget constraints, as the biggest barriers to making that digital transformation dream come true.

While embracing innovative technology is generally considered an imperative to remain competitive, companies seem to run into huge challenges when deploying those solutions. Determining what to adopt is just the preparation – equally important is ironing out how you’re going to roll out that technology. In other words: having a detailed implementation strategy is more important than ever, and when mapping it out, firms should keep in mind three key elements. 

1. People: from skeptics to active users – to champions

Only if all parties involved in the project lifecycle buy into the fact that precise data-backed insights will fuel operational efficiency does adoption have a chance at succeeding. Engaging the workforce in unfamiliar work practices requires assistance, ongoing technical support, and patience. This is where Customer Success teams from the tech solution come in: Their role extends beyond troubleshooting; they actively contribute to the educational shift required for tech adoption. 

For example, Buildots Customer Success teams act as guides, ensuring that all stakeholders understand the technology's functionality and are set up for success from day one. They provide a soft landing ground, tailoring their approach to each client individually. This personalized guidance ensures that everyone feels competent in using the new tools, fostering a smooth and effective transition.

2. Processes: the central role of change management

Implementing construction technology can be a complex task. Leadership must ensure a collaborative integration of the new tools across all company levels.

Effective change management involves transparent communication, a clear strategy, and continuous training. It is crucial to align operations leadership and the project team on the project's goals and the methods for evaluating its impact, such as using operational efficiencies as indicators of financial gains. 

Additionally, it is important to schedule regular milestone checks to assess progress at various benchmarks. Establishing metrics, KPIs, and benchmarks helps measure the success of these efforts and identify areas for improvement. Engaging employees through educational webinars, external training, and feedback sessions further helps to mitigate resistance to change. Additionally, having a dedicated change management team can ensure that all aspects of the transition are carefully planned, communicated, and executed, minimizing disruptions and skill gaps while maximizing the benefits of the new solution at hand.

3. Value assessment: the importance of pre-implementation alignment on measurement

Numerous construction tech innovations can generate gains along the construction value chain. Yet, the diverse benefits of these solutions are often not obvious at first glance – their advantages are sometimes realized in the medium to long term while the upfront costs arise in the present. 

Effective implementation hinges on achieving alignment between leadership and the project team regarding the project's objectives. It’s equally crucial to agree on how to evaluate the technology's impact. The complexity of construction projects makes it difficult to assess a tech solution's ROI. To bridge the gap, operational efficiencies can serve as a proxy for measuring ROI. These efficiencies translate into financial gains by minimizing delays, reducing waste, and optimizing resource allocation. For example, adopting a platform that helps in decreasing the duration of project delays not only lowers labor costs but also reduces the risk of penalties and the need for additional resources.

Despite the hurdles: optimism for the road ahead

The construction industry is navigating new waters. While some companies stick to their tried-and-tested methods and metrics, others are leveraging new tools to improve their efficiency. According to Deloitte’s State of Digital Adoption in the Construction Industry report, investing in new technologies is linked to 1.4% higher revenue growth, 1% higher profit growth, and more on-time project completions. For this to happen, construction tech has to be viewed as a facilitator for processes and people, aiding in the discovery of new methods for working, planning, and measuring progress. When pushing for technology adoption, one must think farther ahead and adopt a tech-ready mindset – or risk falling behind in the future

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