Technology is oozing into a large number of industries. As the “Tech” family is expanding its family tree by marrying other sectors, new terms to refer to sub-sectors keep emerging. Names like FinTech (financial technology), InsurTech (insurance technology), RegTech (regulatory technology), and PropTech (property technology) are widely in use. However, as these multi-billion-dollar industries keep raising their influence on global markets, there’s still much mystery surrounding a new member of the “Tech” family: ConTech, which is a merge of construction and technology.
In an industry that’s not typically associated with digital innovation, the five following facts about ConTech are the bellwether to impending changes.
Construction is One of the Least Digitized Sectors
Even though the digital revolution has taken many pillar sectors like healthcare or finance by storm, construction has been notoriously slow to join the Industry 4.0. It’s one of the least digitized industries in the world, even though it’s also one of the most important.
The lack of digitization contributes to poor decisions and mind-boggling inefficiencies in the sector: Large projects typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget, according to McKinsey.
While this brings volatility and relatively low returns to the sector, it also means construction is ripe for disruption — and a growing number of ConTech initiatives are ready to answer this calling.
ConTech is About Doing More With Less
ConTech’s raison d’etre is to iron out these inefficiencies that strain the industry. As construction researcher Henry D’Esposito said to journalists, ConTech will bring new ways to do more with less.
If a new technology can ease collaboration across firms, reduce errors and miscommunication, or get more productivity from a limited pool of skilled workers, it has a good chance of finding demand, even in an increasingly crowded market.Henry D’Esposito, construction researcher
Since the construction is an expensive area to operate in, even a slightly skewed or inaccurate business decision might lead to loss in millions or a devastating environmental impact.
With the guidance of these technologies, it’ll be possible for construction leaders to make laser-sharp day-to-day decisions.
Data is Still the King
All the growth, innovation, and product development in ConTech will rely on the successful analysis of data.
While improvements in predictive analytics will help construction projects to supercharge their efficiency, decision-makers will also be more acutely aware of the risks and returns.
Countless new technological applications that can elevate construction projects – like AI, VR, augmented reality, 4D or 5D models, drones, prefabrication tools, and many more – will rise on the shoulders of ingenious ways of collecting and analyzing data.
Public Funding and Collaboration Will Drive Growth
As the benefits of ConTech to global societies are obvious, public institutions like the European Union is prioritizing funding to ConTech research projects to drive innovation and development. Likewise, there’re opportunities for federal funding in North America too.
Given the low productivity rates of the construction industry and how slow it has been to react to the Industry 4.0 revolution, in the next decade or so, public institutions will likely intensify their efforts to move ConTech further.
Opportunities Are Almost Limitless
ConTech is still in its infancy. However, thanks to its disruptive potential, public and private investment opportunities, ConTech will likely go through a phase of meteoric growth soon.
Even though many companies are quickly moving to this sphere, there’s still low-hanging fruit to innovate on. Visionaries of the construction industry are poised to take advantage of it while adding immense value to the future.