Study finds construction industry slow to adopt, utilize technology

Ben Bigelow

James Benham 

The construction industry’s tentative embrace of technology is detailed in a survey developed in part by Texas A&M construction science faculty members Ben Bigelow and James Benham, also the chief executive officer of JBKnowledge, which develops technology solutions for the construction, risk management and insurance industries.

Results of the survey, published in The 3rd Annual Construction Technology Report by JBKnowledge, the Department of Construction Science and the Construction Financial Management Association, show a "mixed bag" of results that provide insights, surprises and concerns regarding builder’s uses of technology, said Benham.

The report’s main findings:

  • The average construction company’s information technology budget allocation is lower than any other industry’s;
  • Builders are increasing their use of cloud solutions, often without security protocols; and
  • Only 4.1% of construction professionals used two-way cloud and server-based data transfers during project phases such bidding and estimating.

The survey also reveals which desktop and mobile applications have the highest industry adoption and which emerging technologies are increasingly popular with builders, such as drones for hauling objects around a jobsite.

“The report is an invaluable tool in the Department of Construction Science’s mission to prepare students to assume roles of industry leadership and responsibility,” said Bigelow.

“In an increasingly digital world, technology has become an inseparable part of the construction industry and construction education.”

posted March 5, 2015