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This industry is ready for disruption! It’s ripe with opportunity!

‘Not your average construction crowd’ was our instant reaction when we saw the photos from the G4C Conference Generation4Tech, Bigger, Faster, Stronger.  An amazing line up of speakers and panellists provided the focal point for an afternoon of stimulating discussions and debate.  It re-enforced our view that the future of construction is bright we just need to find ways to bring the kind of fresh thinking to the fore, make it the new norm.  This industry is ready for disruption. It’s ripe with opportunity!

8 key points to take away:

  • Generation is not about age, it’s about ability to learn new things and take on new ideas.  If you are pushing for change you are part of the digital generation.
  • Opportunity to fail – We need to give the next generation freedom to explore, we need to listen to their ideas and listen what they have to say. We need to adopt reverse mentoring when it comes to tech. No opportunity to fail removes the opportunity to innovate.
  • Great to see strong commercial awareness.  To influence senior management to adopt tech we need to have business cases and regulation. We can’t sell tech to senior figures as being cool, we need to give them more detail, talk about the margin! Shareholder dividends, growth, profit, money!
  • Why have tech companies shied away from construction? A salutary thought from Tom Forth from the Open Data Institute – innovation is slower in healthcare and construction because if you get it wrong people can die. Writing a restaurant App is much safer.
  • Technology seems like a sweetshop! There are thousands of options and it is not immediately clear which one to go for.  All technologies have a place on site; but they need to be determined on business benefits.
  • Digital self or digital twin? Digital twins are huge at the moment, however perhaps we need to focus on the digital self and understand it, then look at transferring to a digital twin.
  • Fundamental digital skills – It is far more valuable to learn how to understand the fundamentals of data and macros than to understand how to use a particular piece of software that will inevitably become obsolete!
  • Focus on outcomes – we can’t adopt technology for technology’s sake, we need to look at what we want to achieve.  Identifying technology that supports productivity within construction and has a strong business case behind it is the key for integration of new technological advances.

Huge thanks to sponsors Sir Robert McAlpine, partner the Construction Innovation Hub, exhibitors Henry Boot Construction and Sheffield Hallam University and tech demonstrators Trimble Tekla and East Riding Infrastructure and Facilities.  Thanks also to our stellar line up of speakers and panellists.  Last but not least big congratulations to Caroline Key and Robin Lapish for their hard work in putting on such a great event.

 

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