Technologies With the Highest ROI Potential in Engineering and Construction

construction technology ROI survey

KPMG’s 2023 Global Construction Survey presents insights from 267 individuals; professionals from engineering and construction firms (121) and project owners (146) from a variety of industries.

The survey covers several topics, including innovation and technology. Following are picks from the technology results.

The 2017 Global Construction Survey revealed industry adoption of technologies like BIM, analytics, project management information systems (PMIS), drones, smart sensors, and mobile. Some were exploring 3D printing, machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR), and robotic process automation (RPA).

In the 2023 survey, 83% of engineering and construction (EC) firms reported adopting or starting to adopt PMIS. 90% are using or starting to use basic data analytics, while 21% are already using advanced analytics. VR usage has doubled from 28% to 56%.

Only a small percentage use RPA, 3D printing, ML, and AR consistently due to a lack of industry standards. Technologies like digital twins and modular/offsite manufacturing are gaining traction.

AI usage has increased significantly, with 40% of respondents adopting or starting to adopt AI in 2023, although only 4% apply AI across every project.

A breakdown of the surveyed EC firms’ technology adoption rates is in the following diagram.

Construction technology adoption

KPMG, 2023: Tech adoption in the 121 surveyed EC firms (chart by AEC Business)

The ROI potential of technologies

Integrated project management information systems (PMIS), BIM, and advanced data analytics are considered the top technologies with the greatest return on investment (ROI) in capital projects.

Digital twins, AI, VR/AR, 3D printing, RPA, and modular manufacturing hold untapped potential, according to the survey.

ROI potential of construction technology

KPMG, 2023: Tech ROI potential in capital projects (chart by AEC Business)

Some companies benefit from improved cost and schedule performance through technology implementation, while others struggle to leverage technology effectively. This highlights the need for experienced team members and project management offices (PMOs).

You can download the whole report at the KPMG site.

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