SE Asia builders keen on blending data with operations

Construction professionals in Southeast Asia are increasingly aware of the role of technology and data in their businesses but are still hesitant about their data strategy, according to research from Procore.

The report was conducted by YouGov, which polled 1,644 construction leaders in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Singapore. In Southeast Asia, the poll covered 876 construction decision-makers.

Almost all (99%) of Southeast Asia-based respondents agreed that better data management can bring benefits to their businesses. 

They estimated that on average, 22% of total project spend could be saved through more efficient data management.

However, despite a high awareness of how data can be used to their advantage, only 6% of companies surveyed in Southeast Asia have laid the foundation for a data strategy. 

Additionally, although 77% are planning to design and implement a data strategy over the next 12 months, more than half of these companies (52%) are only somewhat confident in their ability to do so. 

“It is clear from our research that while construction professionals in the region have a strong understanding that data and analytical insights can help drive better business outcomes and protect their businesses, many struggle with developing clear data strategies,” said Tom Karemacher, head of Asia Pacific at Procore. 

Karemacher said that while software vendors undoubtedly play a critical role in assisting construction businesses in this transformative journey, more can be done. 

Software vendors will need to clearly demonstrate the returns on investment, thereby justifying the indispensability of construction technology and data management. 

This will help drive the adoption of innovative solutions within construction that unlocks unparalleled value for the industry.” 

Despite the challenges in harnessing data, construction professionals in the region remain committed to embarking on their digital transformation efforts. 

Respondents cited improved cost management (42%), reduced reliance on human labour (39%), resource efficiency through fewer errors or less rework (38%), improved build quality (38%), and improved ability to handle more projects (38%) as the benefits of technology adoption. 

More than three-quarters (77%) of businesses surveyed revealed that they are looking to increase their spending on construction technologies as a proportion of their annual budget. 

Younger businesses that have been around for less than 10 years were found to be more likely to embrace technology (81%), as compared to established businesses of over 10 to 20 years (71%) and those over 20 years (68%).