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Construction a massive untapped market for tech industry

JOC News Service
Construction a massive untapped market for tech industry

Vancouver, B.C. – While other industries are being transformed by technology, construction remains largely ignored, a recent survey shows.

The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) released the results its recent State of Construction Technology survey which showed B.C.’s construction employers feel underserved by the tech sector.

According to the BCCA, B.C. technology companies are helping transform other sectors like gaming, entertainment, transportation and communications, yet research shows that many of the 25,000 companies in the construction sector haven’t found the technology products they need.

“That’s a serious issue for a sector that employs 242,000 British Columbians, with $115 billion in projects underway and $260 billion more on the horizon,” reads a statement from the association.

The survey included more than 300 companies across all eight economic regions. It examined how aware companies are of the types of construction technology available to them in the administration, job site, and construction project categories. It also asked companies who have adopted the technologies how satisfied they are with them. The results showed that while the overwhelming majority of employers are aware of technology solutions and are interested in using them, the adoption rates are extremely low.

On average, 87 per cent of the companies surveyed were aware of the 14 subcategories of administration, job site, and project tools used in the construction sector;

Beyond estimating software, which is used by half the companies surveyed, the average rate of adoption of tools in each category is only 27 per cent.

The highest scores in the survey, 89 per cent average, were registered by adopters indicating they were highly satisfied with the technologies they are using.

“Making the switch to new technologies can be hard, especially for small companies that are more comfortable doing things the way they always have or who don’t have the time or staff to research different options,” said Stephen Richter, BCCA project manager. “But construction is changing, and with a skilled labour shortage and industry pressure to reduce costs and increase competitiveness, it’s more important than ever to innovate and become a future-forward construction company.”

The association is advocating for better cooperation between the two sectors and is asking B.C.’s tech sector to realize the construction industry as a massive business opportunity.

“When an organization like BC Tech has a near absence of construction-related companies among its members, partners, board and finalists for its Technology Impact Awards, it’s clear that much greater cooperation is possible,” said Chris Atchison, president, BCCA. “Events like Groundbreak and Contech in the United States bring product developers and construction industry personnel together to build relationships and share ideas. We’d like to see stronger alignment at B.C. events like the #BCTECH Summit to facilitate industry adoption and showcase the potential for companies in B.C.’s tech sector with solutions for construction.”

The association asked producers of products that might aid the industry to contact Richter at 250-475-1077 or stephen.richter@bccassn.com) and to also link employers to their company or products via social media using the #BCTechTools hashtag.

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