The three big technology trends for the A&E industry - and how APAC firms are responding

Posted by Deltek on February 23, 2021

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TwitterTweet it:'On the digital transformation maturity scale, only 1% of firms across Europe and APAC categorised themselves as advanced'

Whether it’s using geolocation data for efficient site surveys or equipping wearable tech for on-site monitoring, there’s near-limitless potential to what the architecture and engineering (A&E) industry can achieve with the right use of emerging technology.

To better understand how A&E firms in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are using innovative technologies, the Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering (A&E) Industry Report looked at the impact of emerging technology trends to businesses in the A&E industry across the region. The report offers insight into the digital transformation challenges A&E firms are facing, and their journey to digital maturity.

The big three tech trends for A&E firms

From a global perspective, there were three technology trends that A&E firms more frequently identified as either somewhat important or very important to their business:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) – 84% of firms identified it as somewhat important or very important
  • Geolocation – 83%
  • Big Data – 69%

There were some close runners-up – with AI ranking at 61% and data science at 60%. It’s no surprise that IoT topped the list, as both architecture and engineering firms will be using the technology to gather real-time data and identify how buildings perform in real-world scenarios.

But as Deltek expert, Kimberly Sack, pointed out there are clear differences in how the technologies are seen across regions:

“Looking at just the Asia-Pacific region, geolocation surpassed IoT as the most important technology trend. And only 47% of APAC respondents view AI as an important technology, while 70% of European respondents rank it in the top two.”

Similarly, Kimberly identified some noticeable differences when focusing on just the architecture sector too:

“Like the overall A&E results, architecture firms still ranked geolocation, IoT, and big data as their top three. But when we look at the importance placed on the next three trends, architecture firms place more significance on data science than artificial intelligence – and blockchain moved up the ladder of importance too. Plus, machine learning dropped to the lowest spot at just 9%.”


 

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A long way to digital transformation maturity

A&E firms clearly recognise the importance of these emerging technologies, but there’s a disconnect between that recognition and firms’ digital maturity levels.

On the digital transformation maturity scale, only 1% of firms across Europe and APAC categorized themselves as advanced – which means digital transformation is a primary strategic focus at the executive level, and there’s a culture of innovation in the company. “We see that firms are placing importance on technology trends like IoT, geolocation, and AI to see a competitive advantage, but there’s a clear contradiction between their level of maturity and technology ambitions,” explained Kimberly.

And focusing on the APAC region, the results are even more surprising. No respondents reported their digital maturity level as advanced, and 72% of firms in Singapore reported at being in the exploratory stage – a higher proportion than any other country.

But while there’s a clear disconnect between digital ambitions and transformation maturity, some firms have identified a way to fill the gap.

"The results revealed firms are developing technology subject matter experts to help them on their journey, hiring new staff or acquiring companies with the necessary expertise, and identifying champions to lead their initiatives."

A people-focused approach to technology challenges

Many firms (40%) are predicting they’ll reach the ‘mature’ stage of the digital transformation maturity scale within five years’ time – and their strategy for success is investing in people.

“It’s clear a lot of firms are putting people at the heart of addressing technology challenges,” explained Kimberly. “The results revealed firms are developing technology subject matter experts to help them on their journey, hiring new staff or acquiring companies with the necessary expertise, and identifying champions to lead their initiatives.”

These initiatives all proved popular across the APAC region too, with a similar focus on people-based initiatives. Identifying and developing technology subject matter experts landed in the top three initiatives for Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore – and proved to be Singapore’s most common initiative.

Download the Deltek Clarity Report

These insights offer a great starting point to help you compare your business to the wider A&E industry, and shape your digital strategy over the coming years.

And we’ve only covered a fraction of what’s in the latest Deltek Clarity report. Download the report to explore the emerging A&E trends around digital operating models, business influence, and benchmarking and KPIs.


 

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