Digital by Default – The Progression of our Built Environment
Ahead of her session at the Be Summit, we sat down with Rebecca de Cicco, Founder of Women in BIM and Principal, Digital Enablement at Aurecon, to hear her thoughts on how our construction industry is adapting to the rapid shift into the digital space, the risks involved and what it means for our wider built environment.
1. Is being Digital by Default now a given for the construction industry or is there still resistance?
As an industry we are moving very quickly in terms of adoption of innovative techniques. Having said this there is still much resistance when it comes to implementing change, be it digital or other. Working with your organisation to enable the change and empower people is a key step to achieving this change and although many companies all over the world still struggle with this, we are certainly moving ahead more quickly than we ever have in construction. It is also important to have digital enablement at the core of your business, ensuring that all people understand its importance while acknowledging it is a constant learning journey.
2. What are the key digital skill gaps and how can these be bridged?
There are huge skills gaps in the industry currently in digital all over the world. We are desperately trying to support and acknowledge this challenge by working with industry and organisations to embed diversity at the core of their business. By including and allowing a variety of people with diverse backgrounds and gender equality across an organisation it allows a company to highlight champions and grow their skills in this space.
3. How can creating a solid strategy assist in implementing the correct technology? Can you give an example?
Every business must have a strategy for growth, innovation and change. As we see across the most innovative businesses they constantly evolve to accommodate these changes in order to satisfy their people and their clients. Technology is only one part of this journey and ensuring there are change management champions and innovative people supporting this change is only one part of the process. At Aurecon we believe that digital forms the heart of our future, and embedding digital skill, capability and services can allow us to grow and flourish and keep up to speed with the demand from our clients to be more productive.
4. What are the risks for those who are slow to adopt?
As a business there must be a strategy around growth. Without that strategy a company can become stagnant and not continue working with clients who see bigger more intelligent ways to work. This is a huge risk for small companies in construction, as we know the SME (small to medium enterprises) are the slowest to adopt change. Having said this there is also a huge opportunity for small and agile organisation to move ahead of their larger competitors by enabling this growth and expanding their services and capabilities to include digital technology and process at the heart of what they do.
5. What can we expect from your session?
My session will focus on the strategic side of implementing a change. Looking at the key drivers, business philosophy and services offered to drive innovation, productivity and profit. Whilst many organisations are developing their own strategies this session will look at how this can be practically applied using the right people, processes and technologies.