Laying the Foundations for Digital Transformation
Laying the Foundations for Digital Transformation
Representatives from Procore Technologies recently spoke at Venture Connect’s Construction Technology Festival about building the right environment for digital transformation and how it will impact the region’s ability to achieve its ambitious urbanisation goals.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s report of June 2022, digital innovation and transformation can provide significant improvements in productivity (about 15 per cent) and reduce costs (around 6 per cent). Despite being historically slow at implementing cutting-edge technologies, construction industry leaders are embracing the change. Companies that support the implementation of new technologies will see an increased advantage in the next few decades.
To push forth this agenda, Venture Connect’s Construction Technology Festival took place on 7-8 June at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina. Madeleine Skillen, MENA Campaign Manager, and Mohammad Alfaour, Solutions Consultant, from Procore attended the festival as industry speakers. The two gave a presentation on ‘Laying the Foundations for Digital Transformation’, which detailed the steps companies need to take before they can fully benefit from construction technology.
Setting the scene, Skillen began by outlining the need to find the right partner that can help companies decipher their true technological needs. She stated that whilst it can be tricky to differentiate between what you think you need and what you actually need, working with a software vendor with whom you can have open and honest dialogue, and subsequently understands your company’s true requirements, is key to making tech work for you, and not against you.
"When choosing a partner, it’s important to cut through the buzzwords to establish those that are truly committed to full digitalisation. A vendor that shares the same values as you and can help you connect the dots in ways you didn’t think possible. Because, whilst this market is full of partnerships, there are fewer that will provide an open and integrated arena for the future," she says.
Alfaour built upon this point further by stating that the next step to benefiting from technology was to conquer a common fear of change. The resistance and scepticism around new technologies is felt across all, if not most, industries, and it’s really no surprise given the number of vendors that provide siloed solutions that fail to speak to a company’s wider technological ecosystem. But partnering with the right software vendor that will align itself to your wider needs will help you avoid any potential frustration caused by investing in a system that fails to communicate with what’s already in place. Going forward, this type of partnership will be even more critical, especially in light of regional goals such as Saudi’s Vision 2030 or Dubai’s 2040 Master Plan. "To achieve these goals, we need to upskill our team members, increase retention, and attract talent. Implementing a platform which integrates with your pre-existing systems minimises disruption and builds upon processes already in place. This enhances efforts and strengthens belief in the value of tech," remarks Alfaour.
He further highlighted the role platform technology plays, providing organisations with an optimised working environment that enables companies to manage bigger and more complex projects. "Seeing your teams and company thrive, other like-minded entities in the industry are going to look you up — and they’re going to search for open roles in your organisation. Thus, it will not only help shift your internal attitudes, but attract the right external skills that can help you scale-up smarter" said Alfaour.
Skillen concluded by sharing the third step to laying the foundations for digital transformation -— ease of use. She stated that smart technology doesn’t need to be complex. The most successful software partnerships are bound by intuitive tech. In construction, this means bringing together all project stakeholders and documents onto one central hub. A single place that integrates with multiple apps will not only encourage worker uptake but streamline processes faster; further reinforcing the trust your employees have built-in smart technologies. Because, ultimately a platform which is greater than the sum of its parts will evolve with your changing needs and ensure you have flexibility for today, tomorrow and years to come.
Having highlighted the need to find a partner who is aligned to your company values, build a culture that trusts in technology, and find a solution that integrates easily with the company’s pre-existing tech stack, the Procore representatives ended the presentation with one final ask… To embrace change.
Recalling the epiphany he had earlier this year, Alfaour finished by saying that "whilst construction has often been marginalised as a tech-averse industry over the years, that’s quickly changing. Many of us have had to face the bitter taste of a company closing its doors in the past few years as a result of Covid-19, but the future’s looking bright. There is a great opportunity ahead of us as the Middle East looks to redefine standards of building excellence, but what got us here won’t get us where we need to go. And for us to not only reach but exceed the goals set before us, we need to be open to change".
To find out more about Procore, visit www.procore.com/en-ae