Independent research commissioned by SaaS vendor Procore shows a UK construction shift in technology adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Procore, the US-based provider of construction management software which has been expanding in the UK, says the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift in attitudes to technology in the construction industry. In March 2020 (read: Coronavirus, construction and software); also Coronavirus construction impacts, and software offers, continue), Procore was one of several vendors to offer its platform for use in COVID-19 situations. Findings from a May 2020 survey of 250 UK construction middle and senior managers working in companies with 100 or more employees show platform technology is playing a particularly pivotal role, Procore says.
Amid challenges in keeping job sites operational during COVID-19, well over half (66%) of construction companies surveyed rolled out some sort of new technology during lockdown. As a result, a majority (94%) saw an improvement in the way their teams worked.
Looking forward, businesses recognise they will likely need to build on a singular, integrated system. The research showed 80% believe that platform technology will play a role in the future of construction work. And almost half (38%) said they could not do their jobs as effectively without it.
The independent research (conducted online by Sapio Research) defined platform technology as that which “connects business applications and stores relevant information all in one place, allowing applications and tech tools to talk to each other. A platform might be used to enable visibility over data or to standardise operations.”
Procore: The future is “one platform”
Where the gaps between traditional ways of working and remote working have been most apparent, technology has come to the fore to increase efficiency and connect teams. 52% of the respondents said they feel empowered to change and apply positive learning to the future of work. Almost 9 in 10 (86%) construction managers said they would use “one platform” if they could.
Brandon Olivieri O’Connor, director of UK and Ireland at Procore UK&I’s London office, said:
“With much around construction being disrupted, technology has proved the one constant and this is being increasingly realised by businesses. We’ve seen contractors proactively making the move away from manual methods and Excel towards platform technology. Construction won’t be the same as it was before, with connectivity and mobility driving a new way of working.
“The emphasis will remain on the ability to connect people wherever they are – on one platform – so they can be productive and safe. Procore is one construction platform that connects the entire project team, from the office to the field and across companies, providing one place to work together to do what they do best – build. The result is a team that can run projects from anywhere, enabling them to do more and do it faster.”
Lockdown has accelerated the demand for digital transformation
Of the construction companies surveyed, 58% reported a higher demand from workers for a way to stay connected and work more efficiently. Procore connects project teams, from the office to the field and across companies, providing one place to work together. It is used by over 8,500 construction companies globally. According to most (56%) research respondents, it will help the construction industry excel after COVID-19 compared to traditional systems or bespoke software tools.
The research found that the ability to work remotely is one of the top three reasons construction managers implement online technology tools. Having the option to reduce the number of staff onsite and social distance has allowed construction companies to comply with health and safety regulations. Most construction managers (52%) who rolled-out online collaboration and productivity technology solutions since lockdown said the safety for their teams had improved.