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Digital transformation halfway there in the development sector

By Staff Reporter
12 November 2021 | 1 minute read
Digital transformation

More than half of Australian property leaders in the development and construction sectors are now focused on digital transformation, according to a new report.

The Data Differentiator is a new report from Procore and the Property Council of Australia (PCA), which has looked at the major concerns of the property industry at the moment, and how Australian property leaders can mitigate future risks.

Procore vice-president of Asia-Pacific Tom Karemacher flagged that in response to such challenges, many senior leaders are now “driving digital technology agendas at speed”.

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He outlined how “industry leaders are boosting their baseline technology and data capabilities to better balance their risk profile, with digital transformation an area of focus for 53 per cent of respondents”.

According to Ken Morrison, chief executive at the Property Council of Australia (PCA), the focus on digital transformation has not necessarily been borne out of the pandemic.

It’s a sentiment held by the industry more broadly; 85 per cent of respondents noted COVID-19 had not influenced the viability of the industry’s pipeline into the future.

Instead, Mr Morrison argued that a host of challenges, from regulatory pressure to emissions reduction, were already driving Australia’s development industry to invest in digital technology prior to COVID-19.

He flagged that the industry’s main worries “are weighted towards the challenges of growth: securing land and funding, and delivering trustworthy buildings at a rapid rate”.

While the survey recognised that more than half of industry leaders are looking to digital transformation as a method of future-proofing, Mr Karemacher did express concern that the survey “reveals a clear divide between digital leaders and laggards”.

One in five respondents (20 per cent) stated that digital transformation was not on their radar.

It’s despite most respondents recognising that technology and data can “underpin better decision-making, eliminate mundane tasks, help to retain top talent and, importantly, support the delivery of trustworthy buildings”.

“Despite this, 79 per cent of development companies are reviewing their project management software with alarming infrequency,” the vice-president revealed.

More than one in five – or 22 per cent – of respondents said they re-evaluate software less than once every five years.

These businesses are at risk of being left behind: “In a world of accelerating change, tech-forward businesses can rapidly gain a competitive advantage over those operating on legacy systems,” the report warned.

That warning was repeated by Mr Morrison, who advised, “we need to step up our investment in digital technology to transform our processes, elevate quality and meet the challenges of the twenty-first century”.

Digital transformation halfway there in the development sector
Ken Morrison Tom Karemacher reb
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