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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.

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