Construction Ripe for Tech Innovation? Yes, But with Conditions

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Robison Wells
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Construction companies understand their industry’s tendency to adopt new tech at a snail’s pace; this makes construction a major target for new tech startups, but there’s a catch.

Most large construction companies understand the need for new technology. 60% of companies have R&D budgets and people dedicated to improving technology. However, according to a study by JB Knowledge, 36% of employees resist change.

Construction wants integration, but only if it’s easy to use, easy to deploy, and makes an immediate, measurable improvement to productivity.

Investors want new tech. With construction making up 6.3% of the U.S. GDP, builders invested more than $3 billion in new tech companies in 2020 alone. These investments occurred amid reports of Katerra’s collapse after receiving $2 billion in funding, as well as reports of tech-unicorn Procore admitting “to a history of losses” and that it “may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability in the future.”

With a record-high $1.45 trillion in spending in 2020, $3 billion in new startups investment represents a drop in the construction industry ocean.

TechCrunch reports that general contractors act as the key motivators. If a contractor on ground level at a job site can see a marked improvement from technology, they invest. Contractors expect Innovations to be approved in the field, not in a board room.

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