Thoughts on Digitalisation Trends of AEC Industry
By Jukka Nyman - Managing Director, MagiCAD Group
As we all know, during the past decades' digitalisation
has been penetrating all industries as well as to lives of consumers all
over the world. The benefits from this trend have been many: for companies,
it has been enabling increased not only productivity, but also many forms of
new business initiatives like introducing cloud-based service offerings. For
consumers, there have also been many improvements to everyday life, including
online shopping, access to banks via the internet, etc.
For us working in the AEC industry, digitalisation has enabled new ways of working, especially supported by the ongoing BIM trend. For architects and designers in MEP and construction domains, the use of digital tools has been a norm for many decades. Still, the change in workflows, especially in connecting previously separate silos has been a fundamental one. Again, this change has been driven by the need to improve the overall productivity of the construction value chain, with a promise of shortening project implementation time and also offering better quality. Digitalisation, especially in construction, has been seeing an enormous boost in the past five years, leading to many innovations in the global marketplace.
Why is it still so hard to see proper
examples of truly digitised end-to-end workflows in construction, starting from
conceptual design and ending to operations management? Are they still separate
silos of architecture, designers, construction project management, and
operations management making it difficult to reach a common understanding of
unified workflows? Or is it because the tools used in any phase of the construction
project are so focused on providing support only to a specific work phase? To
tackle the latter question, the introduction of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)
has been improving the situation, but not making it perfect. But for the former
question, the challenge lies in old ways of working and in the skewed value
chain in the construction industry, which does not support unified workflows.
To overcome the challenges of providing
truly digitised end-to-end workflows in the AEC industry, there must be then better
solutions to be introduced to the marketplace in the future: solutions, which
unify the current separate workflows in an optimal way, at the same time, enable
data flow from the conceptual phase to operations management, facilitating the
proper data to be used where it is needed. It is said that data is the new oil:
it is valuable, but if unrefined, it cannot really be used. For this vision to
become true, a common data platform is then needed.
There are only a few AEC software companies, that can make it happen in the future. Glodon will be one of those, as it already covers multiple domains within AEC, enabling gathering data from all domains and therefore understanding better the possibilities in unifying the data flow between the different phases of construction. Having a clear focus on AEC and understanding the customer needs there thoroughly will enable Glodon to provide the proper data where ever it is needed and whenever it is needed.