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The future of construction will be changed by technology

Every year, top government officials, investors, and business leaders around the world gather in New York for Real Estate Tech Week. The conference aims to highlight the increased role technology is playing in building our cities.

The emergence of new technology is laying the foundation for what the future of construction could look like.

The use of big data and artificial intelligence is dominating markets everywhere, but the industry has yet to fully adopt these technologies. The adoption of technology is swiftly advancing, and it’s crucial for construction firms to capitalize on this transformation to ensure success and viability in the future.

It’s no secret the industry has been reluctant to take part in the digital transformation. Whether it stems from skepticism or lack of awareness, construction’s hesitancy to adopt new technology has created a $1.6 trillion gap in potential earnings.

In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, construction is one of the least digitized industries in the world.

However, firms are quickly realizing that operating at the intersection of technology and construction can fully maximize their potential. According to CREtech, venture capitalists have already invested $4.3 billion in construction tech startups since the beginning of the year, and it’s projected that 2019 is on track to surpass the $6.1 billion in investments made in 2018.

There’s no denying that automation is rapidly changing the way each industry operates, and it’s time the integration of new technology takes precedence in the industry.

With innovation as a key pillar that guides construction, the industry as a whole can use technology to foster creativity and create a more collaborative, efficient, and streamlined construction experience.

A few years ago, Suffolk began its transitionary period from a construction management firm to a player in the technology space. Suffolk’s application of technology in every aspect of its business has already boosted productivity, improved workplace safety, and modernized our construction process.

By partnering with tech startups like Smartvid.io and OpenSpace, we have been able build algorithms that can predict workplace accidents and use software that allows us to virtually assess job sites.

JOHN FISH

In fact, our use of predictive analytics like Vinnie has the potential to predict one in four incidents with 80 percent accuracy. These are prime examples of how technology and construction are coming together to advance the industry and shape our future potential.

Predictive analytics, machine learning, and augmented reality may seem intimidating to some, but we have found the most effective way to understand and enter the tech space is by building a cross functional team with diverse experiences and combining deep construction operations expertise with digital and data talent.

Just two years ago, Suffolk hired Jit Kee Chin from McKinsey to become the construction industry’s first chief data officer, allowing us to build and control our own analytics to effectively refine our operations and establish our presence as both a technology and construction company.

By pushing the envelope on the traditional model of construction, firms across the nation will be able to plan and execute complex projects with increasing accuracy and exactness.

Every day, we are inching closer to the future of work, and it’s crucial for executives to take the plunge and look to technology as an important asset to their firms’ future capabilities. Technology is shaping our industry’s future, and we can no longer remain reluctant to take part in this transformation.
– John Fish, CEO, Suffolk Construction

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