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About the Blueprint
The race towards connectivity is on. As we emerge from a year characterized by unprecedented downtime, we now have a unique opportunity to strike a new path towards digital transformation in construction.
It takes a pinch of courage to join forces when it comes to data sharing. This is why I want to say thank you to all those who contributed to this Blueprint for stepping up, sharing insights and for putting this into the public domain for the benefit of the entire industry.
Back in 2019, we conducted a survey and found that 55% of construction companies we asked do not exploit the full potential of data they gather. A staggering 83% admitted that they simply lack the knowledge as to how to use the data. On the upside, there is huge awareness and a general understanding that data is and will be important to business success in the future of construction. To not miss out on opportunities, data is collected and stored in vast amounts - though often without a clear purpose or strategy. The result: up to 90% of data gathered in construction is unstructured and stored away in silos. The typically project-based nature of construction adds to the problem of siloed knowledge. Information is kept for the duration of a project but when the project ends, data and insights are rarely saved in a manner that is beneficial to future projects with different partners and customers.
We have learned from other industries further ahead of the curve that meaningful collection, analysis and management of data are the backbone of digital transformation.
A Tipping Point
While construction held the infamous title as one of the least digitized industries in the past, we have now reached a tipping point: we see a clear acceleration in the industry’s use of digitalized solutions. A year ago it suddenly became a necessity for companies to adopt digital tools and run things remotely where possible to keep business running. Construction was no exception.
But it’s not just day-to-day operations that are changing. There’s a shift away from the traditional product mindset to ecosystem thinking. Value creation relies more and more on looking at the entire customer experience and improving products constantly with over-the-air updates. New revenue streams are presented by value-added services. As more and more products join a platform, additional network effects come into play.
The question we need to ask ourselves now is:
How do we keep the momentum of this unique phase of accelerated digitization as the world slowly opens up?
Access to Data is the Open Door to Innovation
What we can learn from fintechs is that standardization of how data is shared is the biggest driver for innovation. It has enabled firms to open new market segments and to cope with highly complex business challenges, such as advanced security and convenience for customers. In construction, we currently see massive interest from investors and start-ups who recognize the situation, ready to tackle those well known efficiency problems in construction and to eliminate downtime. Construction is one of the top 5 industries for investment growth. This is a pivotal moment where willingness to invest in technology higher than ever. Opening the door to those who support with financial means and substantial digital experience is the prerequisite to propel this industry into a new era of construction. To embrace this opportunity we need to make access to data easy and come to terms with how we design open systems. Open APIs invite more tech-savvy players to the field to collaborate, filling the talent gap and enabling innovation.
A Blueprint for Sharing Data in Construction
Over the past few months we have worked closely together with the Eliminate Downtime Committee and the extended network in various hackathons. We have explored pain points, highlights and use cases and we will present the synthesis of our findings in this Blueprint.
Data sharing in construction certainly is a complex topic and the conversations and discussions that have led to the publication of this Blueprint have made it abundantly clear that there are people with an incredible motivation to drive change in this industry. To support our collaborative effort to overcome barriers to sharing this paper presents a framework suggesting what it takes to be successful by sharing data in construction.
My hope is that this Blueprint will help you understand the value we can reap from choosing to cooperate and to share. To be inspired to find ways to establish trust within your organization and with partners in the industry. It takes courage to make the first step. I clearly see the potential of data to eliminate downtime in construction. The question is: Are you in?
Søren Brogaard, CEO Trackunit, June 2021