Recently, the McKinsey Institute published a fascinating report called Seizing opportunity in today’s construction technology ecosystem. The report highlighted the huge wave of innovation and digitization underway in the construction industry:
“After decades of under-digitization, the engineering and construction (E&C) sector is making bold moves in a new era.”
The McKinsey report focuses on the ecosystem of technology providers addressing both traditional and emerging demands for automation. On the traditional side, this means a focus on core back-office processes — things like human resources, finance, and contracts. It means a rising premium for digital collaboration, especially in project planning, a core capability in the construction space. Further, it means tools for on-site compliance monitoring, quality control, and remote access.
McKinsey notes that the overdue wave of digitization also raises the following kinds of new technology demands for construction companies.
Now all of that is interesting, but it becomes really interesting when you consider the following “consultant chart” in the report, graphically illustrating the various facets of the construction technology ecosystem. The heaviness of the lines illustrates the interdependencies between the various capabilities in the system.
Yes, the chart is very busy. Lots to digest on this chart but do you see what literally leaped off the page for us?
Did you see it as well?
Yes, smack dab in the middle of the chart, with probably the highest degree of interdependency, is our old friend document management. Document management is perhaps the key technology that makes all of this innovation work.
It can be argued that for a document management solution to actually play this pivotal of a role, it needs to pass the following seven tests:
- Is it easy to use? Is it easy to deploy? Does it easily scale?
- Does it do all of the above with a minimum drain on IT resources? (Key for a typical mid-sized construction company.)
- Does it “play nice” with other solutions? (i.e., Is it easy to integrate?)
- Can it deal with documents based on WHAT they are rather than WHERE they are stored?
- Is it metadata friendly? (Key to finding document later.)
- Does it make automated retention and disposition and compliance possible?
- Is it device agnostic? Is it remote or field worker friendly?
Many legacy approaches to document management fail to meet these tests. As construction companies embark on the long-overdue path of digitalization, a modern document management solution is critical as the centerpiece to your innovation strategy.