It is hard to deny that we are a digital nation, with many industries adopting new ways of working in order to deliver project work more efficiently and effectively. However, as a BIM company, we have noticed that the construction industry is slower to adapt to a more digital way of working than other sectors. The UK Government did try to urge it along by releasing the BIM mandate three years ago, but it hasn’t seemed to work. Don’t get us wrong, many of the larger companies are leading the change and adapting more quickly, but many smaller companies are lagging behind.
Let’s take a look at where the industry is at the moment:
Project Information Management
In the last 20 years, there has been a move away from paper and towards data within the construction industry which has led to the adoption of management systems in order to support the control of documents. Although this sounds like a leap forward in terms of digitising the construction industry, unfortunately, it is not as these solutions tend to be project solutions and so this results in knowledge and information silos where the information is not shared throughout the business. The information also becomes uncoordinated, and it is hard for people to know exactly what the most up-to-date version of the information is.
Many construction companies are going down the route of using cheap or free tools such as Dropbox and email to manage their data, which only address one simple requirement – the sharing of files. There is no secure audit trail, no creation providence and no record of where the files have been distributed. What happens when an employee leaves and they have been using their own personal Dropbox to store files?
There are also hidden costs involved in data management, such as the cost of on-premise file servers and additional network storage, the outsourced IT costs, and also the costs related to searching systems for queries every day.
The Common Data Environment (CDE)
Because clients are becoming more used to the digital world, they are placing demands on construction companies when it comes to the handover of project information and also delivery as well. They are also demanding that the working environment becomes more collaborative so that they can be more closely involved from the start. This means that companies are having to put in place a more standardised and formal approach in order to make sure their project data information is handled correctly.
Using a Common Data Environment(CDE) means that your digital journey will be fast-tracked as it will provide you with the answer to all of your project information management needs, including being able to communicate, capture data, computer data and collaborate securely on all your projects. Having a single secure source for all of your organisations trusted information will not only mean your projects will be well, but you will also be able to make better-informed decisions.