Across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, construction firms in the Philippines recorded above-average adoption rates for technologies to accelerate their digital transformation. This is one of the major findings of Procore Technologies Inc. (Procore) latest study.
Procore, a global provider of construction management software, gathered insights from more than 1,100 respondents within the construction industry, in the region. The report “How We Build Now 2022 – Tracking technology in Asia Pacific Construction in 2022” examined the general attitude of the industry toward digital transformation, the digital maturity, and adoption of construction technologies, as well as the challenges and opportunities that businesses face.
The report found that in terms of digital maturity, the Philippines is the front runner on the digital maturity curve, with above-average adoption rates for technologies from the Internet of Things or IoT (47%) to drones (43%), telematics/asset-tracking (42%) to big data analytics (41%). Filipino construction decision-makers expect technologies such as digital project management platforms (48%), big data analytics and pre-fabrication (46% each), telematics/asset-tracking (40%), and traditional BIM (40%), to drive change in the next three years.
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“A key issue with construction technology lies with a history of it being built by tech people, not construction people,” said Bruce Wells, vice president of Asia, Procore. “This creates a mismatch of expectations between what businesses want technology to do, and what it can actually do. As a cloud-based software provider created by construction professionals for construction professionals, Procore is rooted and solely dedicated to the advancement of the industry. Procore understands the pain points that the industry faces, and we build solutions to directly address them.”
The digital transformation journey is not without obstacles. Among those who expect challenges, Procore found through further research that the top barriers of digital transformation include changing established behaviors (44%) and overcoming concerns around data security (43%). These are followed by the costs involved to transform digitally, inadequate software solutions, and a lack of support from technology providers and vendors (38% each). More than one in three respondents (36%) also cited the challenge of breaking information and people out of ‘silos’.
The construction industry continues to face significant headwinds, with top challenges cited being the increasing cost of raw materials and equipment (58%), maintaining safe working environments (44%), and increasing productivity (40%).
However, almost all (98%) respondents in the Philippines expressed confidence about industry conditions over the next 12 months, with an overwhelming majority also expecting an increase in the number (80%) or value (75%) of projects over the same timeframe.
Construction firms in the Philippines understand that digital transformation is required to overcome these challenges, with 26% of construction businesses already being digital-first and 56% being “well on the way” in their digital transformation journey. In fact, 2 in 3 (65%) Filipino construction decision-makers reported an increase in their digital investments during the last 24 months. Further research from Procore also found that Filipino respondents recognize the benefits of construction technology, in particular the reduced reliance on human labor (55%), the ability to handle more projects (54%), and resource efficiency through less rework (53%).
The top technologies that construction businesses in the Philippines are planning to introduce within the next three years include next-generation BIM (65%), pre-fabrication (63%), and robotics (61%). More than half of Filipino respondents also displayed strong intentions to introduce cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (59%), extended reality (58%) and big data analytics (55%).
Data as a competitive difference
Procore’s research also found that construction business decision makers from the Philippines unanimously (99%) believe that more efficient data management is a way forward for their business. The most common benefits of efficient data management include improved visibility of project information (53%), enhanced security (52%), improved employee experience and helping to achieve sustainability goals (47% each), followed by ensuring safer working environments, improved decision making and increased productivity (46% each).
Filipino respondents were also the most optimistic of the impact of efficient data management on potential savings estimating potential savings of 27% on average on total project spend (seven points higher than the Asia Pacific average).
“It is imperative for construction businesses to digitalize the way they manage data, to unlock actionable insights that improve productivity and ultimately, the business bottom-line,” Wells said. “At Procore, we understand that data is the key to the future of construction. Through our integrated platform, we enable smarter construction by providing real-time visibility and insight into all aspects of project performance, so that construction businesses can benefit from better control of their projects and deliver higher quality builds.”