UK trade magazine Construction News has just launched its 2009 Construction News Quality Awards, which editor Nick Edwards says have “continued to evolve with the consolidation of some of the older categories and the introduction of some new awards relevant to today’s industry.” One award to disappear is the ‘Excellence in the use of ICT’ category (my employer, BIW Technologies supported one of the 2008 shortlisted entrants, Bovis Lend Lease).
Sorry, Nick, but I don’t see where ICT has been consolidated into an existing category (is it implicit in business improvement, perhaps?), nor do I see how dropping ICT somehow makes these awards more relevant to today’s industry.
- The industry struggles to shake off an image of being techno-phobic, and the CN award helped show industry that ICT was a core business issue that mattered.
- There have also been some excellent entries in recent years showing real innovation, setting ever higher standards for the next year’s entrants to match, so CN was helping promote best practice.
- In my view, ICT is likely to grow, not shrink, in importance in the years ahead – not least with the looming arrival of building information modelling (BIM) in the UK mainstream (but think also of Web 2.0, Software-as-a-Service, mobile solutions, etc).
Having a construction-specific, professionally organised and judged ICT award helped ensure businesses didn’t forget the importance of ICT in establishing and maintaining competitiveness. Losing this high-profile competition is a blow for ICT in the UK architecture, engineering and construction sector. Bring it back for 2010.