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Gaps still exist in information mobility of construction projects: study

29 Oct 2013 (Last Updated October 29th, 2013 18:30)

Contractors are investing to improve the mobility of their construction project data for business benefits.

Contractors are investing to improve the mobility of their construction project data for business benefits. However, there are significant gaps in information mobility which need to be addressed for the wider benefit of the industry, according to a new study by McGraw Hill.

The study was conducted in partnership with Bentley Systems, Bluebeam, the BIMForum and buildingSMART alliance.

According to the study, about 76% of the contractors believe that information mobility helps in-team collaboration, while 68% of them believe that it helps in improving productivity.

"We need to encourage the industry to track and report these benefits so they can justify investing in information mobility, thereby improving their profitability."

Other benefits of the information mobility include shorter project schedules, lower project costs and increases in project ROI.

Of the total respondents, 51% said they are tracking information flow and 20% are tracking the flow of their information outside their own companies.

McGraw Hill Construction vice president of industry insights and alliances Harvey Bernstein said there are proven results in the value of information mobility investments, with contractors reporting shorter schedules by 9%, project cost decreases of 10% and increases in project ROI of 2%.

"We need to encourage the industry to track and report these benefits so they can justify investing in information mobility, thereby improving their profitability," Bernstein said.

The study revealed that only 37% report that their workers onsite can access information outside the trailer.

Collecting real-time data from the jobsite and conducting analyses of those data were the two most important functions of information mobility reported by contractors in the study.

The study found that 60% of respondents plan to use cloud services over the next two years, compared with only 37% today.

The increase in the use of cloud solutions will allow smaller companies that lack the resources to invest in servers to more easily share information and allow for easier remote access to data.