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    Construction Connectivity – Getting Back to Basics

    The European construction
    industry is continuing to demonstrate encouraging growth, with Deloitte
    forecasting that the market is on track to grow at a steady rate of 2.5 per
    cent a year to 2022. With this continued growth, firms face increasing pressure
    to deliver against rising demand, but it’s widely recognised that the
    construction industry has a reputation for often delivering projects later than
    expected and significantly over-budget. Large scale projects in particular can
    typically take 20 per cent longer to complete than planned and can be up to 80
    per cent over budget – so how can the industry adapt to fulfil these
    ever-expanding expectations when current efficiency levels often leave a lot to
    be desired? 

    The adoption of new
    technology and smarter processes can deliver tangible benefits for construction
    firms, but there remains a fundamental stumbling block for those organisations
    looking to capitalise on new innovation – a frequent lack of high speed,
    portable and reliable Internet connectivity. It is therefore imperative that the
    industry addresses these key issues as a matter of urgency so that firms can
    gain access to the connectivity they need at new sites from day one. 

    The construction
    site of the future

    With rapid advances in
    technology and the advent of cloud based solutions, the way we work and
    interact has drastically changed. Technology innovation has led industries to
    continually strive to be more efficient, productive and cost effective. Yet,
    when it comes to the world of construction, investment in IT has remained low
    in comparison to other industries. The market has been hampered by technical
    challenges relating to projects that can be large, complex and geographically
    dispersed. Combined with varying proficiency and maturity levels of smaller
    subcontractors, advancing at scale has been difficult and has subsequently led
    to the slow progress of the digitisation of the construction industry. 

    Despite these challenges,
    the available technology in construction has advanced rapidly and we are now
    starting to see examples of how advents in digital technology can deliver
    efficiency and productivity opportunities at the start of all projects – truly
    revolutionising the construction sites of the past. Drones, robotics, 3D
    printing and augmented reality are no longer works of fiction but can be
    adopted by forward thinking firms looking to capitalise on the benefits that
    embracing innovation can bring to the construction site.

    Connectivity is
    essential

    Connectivity is a necessity
    for businesses in virtually every industry and construction is no exception.
    Crucially, this is still one fundamental hurdle that the industry must overcome
    if it is to create a solid foundation for all new innovation.

    Technology that is crucial
    for the industry to innovate and keep up with demand, cannot function without
    high speed, portable and reliable internet connection, but gaining access to
    connectivity can be a challenge for new sites, particularly those that are
    located in a Green or Brownfield location where there is typically no existing
    connection. Often, a fixed line is simply not an option and the reliability of
    4G is still patchy, even as talk around the possibilities of 5G continue to
    dominate the headlines.

    Conclusion

    The construction industry
    cannot continue to utilise outdated processes and management methods but
    instead must embrace digital advances and adopt smarter processes and
    technology to stay competitive. But there is no way that the construction sites
    of the future will ever become a reality unless the industry can conquer the
    basics of connectivity.

    So, how can construction
    firms ensure that a strong and stable connection is established quickly at a
    new site to ensure lack of connectivity does not negatively impact on projects?
    By working with an ecosystem of experienced and trusted providers who can supply
    the connectivity and IoT services that sites require. The industry will then be
    able to continually benefit from the opportunities that the latest advances in
    innovation present. The potential rewards to firms that capitalise on
    digitisation will be instantaneous.