M a r k e t N e w s

Construction industry in Africa continues to Embrace Innovation

Posted on : Saturday, 19th December 2015

 A recent report by Deloitte shows that for African construction industry to grow all firms have no option but to remain innovative so that they can be able to remain on top of the construction game in Africa.

Evidence has shown that innovative businesses are twice as likely to report increased productivity compared with businesses that don’t innovate.
In order to succeed the construction sector needs to have a much stronger sense of vision, leadership, vitality and appetite for innovation and continuous improvement. The construction industry needs to improve its innovation record, or risk being left behind.
Innovation is one of the latest management buzzwords that it used by many but understood by few. In simple terms, innovation is the process of bringing new creative ideas to reality, in an attempt to take advantage of what might lie over the horizon or to create an entirely new future, which no one else had imagined.
Below are the reasons why construction industry in Africa should embrace in innovation.
• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently pointed to two profound changes taking place in global politics and economics. First, political and economic power has been moving inexorably east. Second, we are in a prolonged period of economic instability brought about by an increasingly interconnected world.
• Businesses should see themselves as regional rather than domestic players and be adaptable, flexible, resilient and creative in their thinking. New relationships, knowledge and skills will need to be developed.
• The predictive capabilities of new technology coupled with the large amounts of data now available through ‘the internet of things’ will transform business. Not only will it allows firms to effectively manage ‘big data’ in a way that they could previously never do, but it will also open the way for a new generation of robots which will act like ‘virtual humans’ serving as customer support slaves which can engage in real conversations with customers, through analysing conversation patterns and the context and profile of the person they are interacting with. It is estimated by some that in 50 years, 30 per cent of the working population will be made up of these robots.
• How this new technology will affect construction is largely unknown. However, we do know that construction has always lagged behind other industries in this area. This is despite evidence that productivity increases of between 30 to 40 per cent could be achieved by the adoption of these new technologies. Some of the more immediate technologies on the horizon which are promising to transform the construction industry include new smart, super-strong and sustainable materials, new energy technologies, GPS, BIM, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, 3D printing, wireless, ultra-mobile, wearable computers and new touchscreen APPs.
• While we must clearly be aware of the many risks of new technology (obsolescence, cost, security, integration, skills and training and so on) recent research shows that existing skill levels in the construction industry are not advancing fast enough to use this new technology, that there are problems of synergies and interoperability with existing technologies and that work processes have been slow to change to accommodate them.

Source : constructionreviewonline.com
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