Paul Snudden – Founder of 3DUserNet, argues that much of the hard graft and investment for Digital Transformation has already been done outside of your business.  Digital Infrastructure; Big Data based software tools; your people and your customer’s readiness; much has been put in place without your help or investment. And it is by investing in intellectual capital and a creative information culture that you can bring your rapidly growing digital data together with these building blocks, for the most far reaching and effective transformation of your business.

The world is already digitally transforming
Global digital infrastructure has been, and continues to go through, exponential growth, in both capacity and capability.  It is bringing amazing and rapid opportunities for construction, without you lifting a finger. You already have an infrastructure of superfast data transfer and devices using data for your existing methods of working. Very little further investment in this will be required for exploiting new digital tools as they become available.

Big company investment requirement in transformation has been dramatically cut
Other people’s capital has, and will continue to, fund investment in the development of digital solutions for common problems, usable across industries and sectors. So it’s not a question of ‘what shall we develop and how much will that cost?’ as it has been in the past, it is now a question of ‘what shall we choose to use?’

Your people and customers are digitally ready
Using digital technology and interfaces are now simply a way of life. With a digital language well established and in everyday use, training on new applications that use this language becomes simple and intuitive.

You are sitting on a wealth of digital assets – start sweating them.
Construction companies, like many others, now collect and store vast amounts of digital information in the course of day-to-day operations, whether they like it or not. The key is to identify and use these digital assets in a powerful way.

Invest in intellectual capital
Big data analysis capability and tools are ready and waiting to be bought to bear on your digital information. A far greater return on investment will be gained from investing in smart people to harness and put your digital assets to work, than from any other investment you make.

Wider accessibility to information opens up creativity of use – so empower your people
People are naturally programmed to find better and better ways of getting things done, being more efficient, getting a greater reward. Today it’s not access to a better sharper tool or power source or mode of transport but access to information that is the fuel for innovation – so let them have it.

There are quick wins as well as slower ones – but none are far off in the distance
As an example close to my heart, how much 3D information resides in your organisation? Who sees it? Who uses it? And what for?
It is some of the most powerful and useful digital information you already have and with simple available and accessible low cost online tools, you can improve your tendering, your monitoring, your workflows, your workforce briefings, your site safety, your supplier communication, your outside stakeholder communication, your reputation, your personnel satisfaction and of course your bottom line. That’s what we spotted at 3DUserNet – a way to unleash existing digital assets, with no capital expenditure.

With the right intellectual capital and the tools available now, getting actionable data from all your other digital assets, and finding available ways to integrate into your business, should be a short process, if not then you might be doing it wrong.

And finally – The world has got you to the digital transformation door, are you ready to step through?
It’s about leadership and culture. Can you create a culture of improvement based on using information better? Can you embed that in work patterns right throughout the organisation? In short can you move from a building mindset to a creating mindset?

Paul Snudden is Founder and Business Director of 3DUserNet – the on-line portal for storing, viewing, creating projects and collaborating on all 3D data, point clouds and models. See 3DUserNet at Digital Construction Week from 18-19th October at London’s ExCeL. Register here for free >