A survey of nearly 350 chief executive officers and discussion groups recently found that the building and construction sectors in Oz risk missing out on productivity gains from new technologies such as high speed broadband as the industry it cuts down on IT spending due to challenging conditions.
Technology Investment and Productivity in Australian businesses report published by the Australian Industry Group shows that there are gaps in the capability of a wide range of businesses including those in the construction industry to fully benefit from technological developments.
This article from designbuildsource.com.au explains further:
Worryingly, the survey found that although the majority of businesses in the construction sector planned no change in technology investment levels in 2013, the number of respondents planning to pull back on spending this year was exactly double that planning to increase investment – giving the industry by far the lowest portion of firms planning to increase IT spending across four major sectors even as more firms pulled back on technology spending (27 per cent) than increased it (22 per cent) last year.
Across all industries, only 22 per cent say they intend to increase IT spending this year, a statistic which has Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox worried.
Willox says with less than half of all businesses surveyed confident in their ability to capitalize on the National Broadband Network despite the huge amount being invested into the project – albeit with 55 per cent of firms in building and construction being confident of their ability in this regard – there are significant concerns about the readiness of Australian business to capitalize on new technology.
“Lifting productivity is Australia’s key long-term economic challenge. There is no question Australian businesses face tremendous opportunities over the coming decades and improvements in productivity will be the foundation for taking advantage of these opportunities and driving ongoing improvements in Australia’s standard of living,” Willox says.
“But Australia is not as ready as it needs to be.”
Undoubtedly technological advancements can help promote and maintain safety and productivity in the construction industry. Other technologies can also help deliver cost savings as well as for example technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) which can help in cost saving and even bushfire risk assessment.
Safety professionals who use technology to record detailed observations, technology can be used to track contractor’s performance and using technology to share collected data allows safety professionals to summarize and share data with key stakeholders – including employees, management, subcontractors and customers.
Most recently technology in the form of a computer game has been introduced to promote safety among construction workers. The first-person shooter style White Card Game involves players identifying, controlling and reporting workplace hazards on a construction site without getting injured or causing the death of workmates. White Card certification is mandatory for all workers on construction sites and it has now been made into a computer game so that workers can more easily understand and relate to it. By embracing technology employers and workers in the construction industry can maximize profits, minimize injuries and make life on a construction site a lot easier.