Scenarios for the digitalisation of the construction industry
conference contributionposted on 22.09.2020, 09:56 by Anil Kavuri, Robby Soetanto, Chris Goodier, Danny Murguia, Mike Szczygiel
Digital technologies have the potential to help address some of the key challenges facing construction. Thinking and planning for the future, including unexpected events, is vital if the implementation of digital technologies is to realise their benefits. Four plausible future scenarios for an industry transformation enabled by digital technologies were developed using scenario-axes approach. The underpinning empirical work involved a review of literature, 20 semi-structured interviews and five focus groups/ workshops with industry practitioners. Qualitative data were analysed to identify emerging themes, which were subsequently conflated to determine the two main driving forces/ uncertainties underpinning the digitalisation in the industry: the extent of Innovation, Research and Development (IR&D), and the extent of integration/ collaboration. They were adopted as two axes to provide a framework to develop four plausible scenarios, named as ‘bleak segregation’, ‘utopia transformation’, ‘lonely investment’, and ‘cheap combination’. Feedback from industry practitioners was generally supportive to the scenarios. The scenarios do not only describe how external factors impact on digitalisation, but they also raise many questions on what the industry stakeholders could do to influence the outcomes, particularly on those related to collaboration and investment. These will determine the pathways and the level of competitiveness of the industry, the companies and the individual stakeholders. Based on this, it could be argued that appropriate strategies and actions of the construction stakeholders themselves can, to a great extent, shape the future outcomes. Apart from the resulting scenarios, the research highlights the benefits which could be derived from the process of developing scenarios for the participants.
Digital Enablers for CONstruction Transformation (DECONT) project was funded via the Transforming Construction Network Plus.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering