Technology Usage in the Calgary Construction Industry

IT and IT Budgets in the Calgary Construction Industry

The use of information technology has been increasing around the world ever since the invention of the Internet. For many companies and industries, information technology is central to business models, and success is heavily linked with it. Some companies, such as Facebook and EBay, have IT at the core of their operation.
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For such companies, it is easy to see how IT can be crucial to revenue generation and profits. However, for companies in other industries, such as the construction industry, the connection between IT and success is not as clear. Matterhorn Business Solutions manages the information technology needs of Calgary construction leader, Borger Group of Companies. Borger Group is not only a leader in total construction projects awarded in Calgary but also in their use of technology to make their operations more efficient. Other construction companies in Calgary are not as progressive.

The construction industry after all, is primarily centered around constructing buildings and other structures. So what use does a construction company have for IT? How should a construction company factor IT into its budget?

The answers to these questions can have strong implications for construction companies. In terms of use for IT, there are several key ways that construction companies can use it.

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Technology Leads to Efficiency in Construction

First, certain software programs can be used to help generate 3D models for building projects. These models can help architects and engineers plan out the design for the building in ways that may not be possible with just a pen and paper or other tools. Such software can help construction professionals more efficiently design the plans for a new building.

IT can also be used in the construction industry for electronic data tracking, word processing, and several other important functions.

In terms of IT budgets for construction companies, there are several important data points to consider. First, a study conducted by Griffis et al. (1995), concluded that the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) to help generate 3D models for construction companies reduced overall project costs by 12 percent. The use of the technology also reduced rework time to fix mistakes by 65 percent.

Another study conducted by O’Connor and Yang (2003) revealed that higher IT use is correlated to the success of construction projects in a statistically significant way.

What all of this data amounts to is the notion that even though it may not have overly obvious uses in construction, IT can actually be very helpful to construction companies if they know how to implement it properly.

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Technology Budgets in Construction

Large portions of construction project budgets, of course, have to go towards materials, construction worker salaries, insurance, equipment, and other things. However, designating a portion of the construction project’s budget for IT may actually help construction companies to increase their project success rate.

As technology continues to develop, this may be even more true. For example, there may be uses for drone footage on construction sites, new apps may be developed to help construction professionals, etc.

If IT can do things like help professionals create better designs that can be used more effectively, then why shouldn’t investments be made in this area? The goal of construction projects is usually to create a great structure, under budget, without having to go and rebuild it due to errors.

IT is just one more way that construction companies can do these things. Thus, there is a strong argument that IT costs should be included in budgets for construction projects.

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