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A/NZ construction industry recognises opportunity for innovation following COVID-19

By Catherine Knowles, Mon 8 Mar 2021

Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) construction companies are leading the regional COVID-19 recovery, with 30% prepared for the new normal.

This is according to the findings of the latest IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Autodesk, Road to Recovery: Overcoming COVID-19's Impact on the Construction Industry with Digital Technologies.

Construction companies power forward

Autodesk managing director Asia Pacific, Tomy Praveen, says, “Across the Asia Pacific region including Japan (APIJ), construction companies are in different stages of recovery against COVID-19.

“Respectively, 17% of construction companies in APIJ are still deep in COVID crisis mode, trying to establish business continuity, and are focused on cutting down costs in response to a slowdown in revenue.

"However, a notable 32% of construction companies across the region are already making aggressive technology investments to secure future business viability.”

The potential for innovation

Praveen says that prior to the pandemic, only 19% of A/NZ construction companies had committed to a long-term approach to digital transformation. This was on average with the region pre-COVID-19.

He says, “Now, A/NZ construction companies are leading the regional COVID-19 recovery. However they are not yet well placed to manage digital transformation, and there's still a huge opportunity for innovation.

"For example, 41% of A/NZ construction companies are still using paper drawings for projects, while just 5% are currently using a software solution for construction drawings.”

According to the report, A/NZ construction companies have identified the opportunities for innovation, with 29% increasing the use of digital solutions by 41-50% during 2020.

Planned investments on the horizon

Across A/NZ, the top construction phases for planned investments are design development for A/NZ (49%) and Japan (60%), testing and commissioning for India (64%), and handover or turnover for Singapore (60%).

Praveen says, “Although the A/NZ construction industry is in recovery, companies are more cost-conscious than ever and are looking at ways to improve and develop efficiencies to remain competitive, just like the rest of the region.

"Technology is supporting streamlined workflows in this new era of convergence where industries, processes and teams are embracing innovative ways of making and have new challenges. In 2021, teams, data and workflows will be increasingly connected.”

The InfoBrief found that the top three technology investments in ANZ to support the COVID-19 response and recovery phase include electronic forms (34%), video conferencing applications (32%), and PC/laptop/module devices management and security (27%).

One of the top three tech investments across APIJ included dedicated health and security applications for employee communications and contact tracing.

Report methodology

IDC's COVID-19 and Road to Recovery in Construction survey was conducted from July to October 2020 to assess 283 construction companies across Asia/Pacific including Japan (APIJ), particularly from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), India, Singapore, and Japan.

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