The intersection of construction and technology is both an incredible opportunity for project performance gains and a train wreck waiting to happen. Because firms are not typically technology specialists, their limited understanding of digital tools leads to compartmentalized solutions that fail to realize digital’s all-encompassing potential.
All too often, firms tackle digital construction initiatives in a piecemeal fashion—one software for design, another for digital twin asset collaboration, another for financials…and none of these systems “talk” to one another. The result misses the capabilities mark of a true digital transformation.
Realizing digital’s promise requires specialists who have a deep understanding of both the needs and processes of the firm and the technology that addresses those needs. Subject matter experts with knowledge across a broad cross-section of construction processes and technologies. Experts who can identify opportunities for digital improvement within an organization or on a project and are able to create and deliver trustworthy solutions.
Enter the digital integrator. Digital integrators have a rare understanding of all sides of the equation and can supplement the skills gap and perform the alchemy of melding disparate applications, digital workflows, and best practices into an effective whole.
From Many Sources, One Solution
Identifying, analyzing, and understanding the reams of siloed and disconnected data residing in construction projects is the foundation of delivering peak project performance. But finding and implementing a digital solution fully capable of exploiting that data has been a long-time challenge for many construction firms and owner-operators.
Digital construction integrators bring the elasticity and continuity of specialized resources that are often difficult to obtain or do not exist within a firm. By tailoring digital construction solutions and workflows, integrators enable faster and better adoption of solutions, avoiding the pitfalls of time and money lost down the road of DIY experimentation. Construction firms, owners, and operators benefit from improved project performance, analysis, and insights. Integrated solutions create a trustworthy source of truth across the project spectrum, from conception to design to construction to operations and asset management.
While most contractors are excellent at what they do, sorting through technologies requires valuable time away from their wheelhouse, costing time and money and rarely producing optimal results. Integrators, through their understanding of the handoffs between providers, along with typical deliverables, de-risk technology adoption and deliver a seamless optimization of the digital connections across the construction ecosystem.
Digital integration services also position construction firms and owner-operators for success through the integration of fit-for-purpose digital twin technology (FFPS), enabling more efficient asset operation and maintenance for owners. Digital integrators are project agnostic, and clients benefit from best of breed technology.
FFPS accelerates the creation of a digital twin, which includes all physical assets and process steps during construction and provides a digital handover to the operational phase of the asset lifecycle. Continuous synchronization of the digital twin through sensor and continuous surveying data reveals near real-time status, position, and working condition. A digital twin lets users visualize the asset, check status, perform analysis, and generate insights to predict and optimize asset performance.
Defining the Path
Because every firm is unique, applying a one size fits all mentality is a plan for disaster. A professional digital integrator begins with understanding the firm’s current state of digital readiness through a survey or discovery process, taking an in-depth look into various operations with the firm to better understand current state, maturity effort, how to start, how to adopt digital best practices, and more. This assessment defines a starting point in line with the firm and its unique digital initiatives. This process maximizes assessment time and prevents wasting time due to wandering around in the dark.
Using data gleaned from the digital readiness assessment, integrators work to develop workflow solutions that integrate the wide array of products and deliverables needed to build a single, reliable data source for construction projects. While some companies offer these services, a true digital integrator tests and proves recommended workflows, processes, and technologies before deploying them into the client’s environment. Intensive testing of solutions throughout the development process aids seamless digital transformation.
In the process of a firm’s digital journey, integrators deliver access to continuous improvement options and support. Most importantly, integrators can help firms uncover and take advantage of new project and process insights discovered through the analytics capabilities of advanced digital construction solutions.
As project managers scour project data, seeking information on resource availability, scheduling, budgets, and risks, digital construction solutions disclose deep wells of information. Targeted digital solutions help PMs identify potential problems earlier, better plan, gain field efficiencies, and have greater visibility into the status of materials, equipment, personnel, and other data. This wealth of near real-time information is key to meeting schedules, staying at or under budget, mitigating and eliminating risk, and protecting profitability.