As the construction space is being transformed by technological advances, a majority of construction companies in India now prioritising digital transformation, according to the ‘Digital Transformation: The Future of Connected Construction’ report by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The report has been sponsored by automation major Autodesk.

According to the report, 66 per cent of construction companies in India are prioritising digital transformation. However, digital maturity in the construction space in India is less as compared to other countries.

Only 3 per cent companies in India are “further along in their digital transformation journeys, with most companies (72 per cent) in the early stages of digital maturity,” the report said.

“Overall, Europe and the Americas score higher than the Asia Pacific region in terms of digital maturity. In Asia Pacific, Japan is the most digitally mature country, while China and India are the least mature,” it said.

The shift towards digital will be further accelerated due to increased local demand.

“To respond to local demand, India construction companies are quickly learning best practices from their peers in more developed markets, which includes knowledge of technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and its benefits,” the report said.

“Almost one-fifth of India’s construction companies cited completing projects on time and on budget as a top industry concern, followed by workforce safety and effectively managing risk,” it said.

Adopting new technologies

Companies are slowly adopting software solutions in spaces such as project management, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and client relationship management (CRM).

“Completing projects on time and on budget remains one of the biggest challenges of the Indian construction sector. Digitisation of construction can not only help in efficient project management but in the process also boost profits and lead to more sustainable outcomes,” said Sunil MK, Head of Architecture, Engineering and Construction business at Autodesk India & SAARC.

“In India, prominent organisations such as Airports Authority of India, Delhi Metro, ITC, Oberoi Realty, Bangalore International Airport Limited and CPWD have already mandated digital technologies such as BIM for their projects. Digital transformation of the construction sector can be further accelerated by a proactive recommendation from the government to use 3D digital construction solutions,” he added.

Challenges in digital transformation

The major challenges faced by construction companies in the country include “development of digital capabilities and skills across the organisation, creation of a strategic roadmap for digital investments and building the right organisational structure embedding digital in the business,” as per the study.

“While many organisations worldwide have embraced digital transformation and are bringing new innovations into their businesses, the construction industry has yet to fully reap the benefits of digitalization due to the unique challenges it faces,” said Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, AVP and APAC Head Digital Transformation at IDC. “However, our research indicates that digital construction solutions (such as BIM workflows, bid management, project management and insights) can help improve construction projects, and construction companies are looking into new, innovative technologies to accelerate their digital transformation.”