Feasibility study on information technology in the New Brunswick construction industry
University of New Brunswick
The international, multi trillion dollar construction industry suffers from poor management, communication, and collaboration practices. Solving these issues is difficult to achieve with traditional methods. Information technologies (IT) can help to achieve increased profitability, and operational excellence that can help optimize business processes. Given these problems, there is a great deal of opportunity to take advantage of information technology in the construction industry. IT, and in particular portals, are used in most industries, however, the construction industry has not fully adopted them yet. The United States has begun to adopt Internet portals but the New Brunswick (NB) construction industry has not. Due to a lack of empirical investigation of the relationship between investments in IT, and organizational performance in the construction industry, the objectives of investments in IT become uncertain. IT research in the NB construction industry is necessary to determine the use of IT and its actual benefits. The goal of this report is to determine the feasibility of IT (especially Internet portals) being used within the NB construction industry. The main objectives are: Reviewing available literature on the adoption of IT in the construction industry, Identifying advantages/attractions and barriers/disadvantages of using Internet portals in the construction industry, and assessing changes necessary for the adoption of IT within organizations. A pilot study on Internet portals being used on a NB construction project was completed in December 2000. This helped determine many of the attractions and disadvantages/barriers of using portals in the NB construction industry. A comprehensive literature review was completed during the winter term of 2001. This literature review complemented many of the findings from the pilot study. Some of the developed guidelines for the successful adoption of IT in the NB construction industry are: Top management support is essential, all key participants must be involved, sufficient hardware and internet connections are necessary, participants being computer literate, and a demand or pressure for increased efficiency.