Student contribution from Columbo School of Construction and Technology, Sri Lanka

A Study on Effective Implementation of Information Technology in the Construction Industry

Sajeen Lakitha Nanneththi

Colombo School of Construction Technology, Sri-Lanka
Acknowledgement

I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Chitra Weddikkara and CSCT Faculty for providing me with all the facilities required during this research.

Abstract

Today the use of Information Technology has made people’s life very easy for them in every aspect. Over the past years Construction industry has seen a many technological advancement in it. However when compared to other industries such as medical, automobile etc. construction industry is still in a very slow progress in implementing Information Technology in their field. In a fast developing world, the effective adoption of IT in any industry is urgent more than ever. This study and literature survey was carried out on reviewing the primary researches focused of Quantity Surveying and Constructional sites with the intention of identifying the benefits gained by the usage of IT and in identifying barriers that could affect in implementation of IT in construction industry.

Key Words: Information Technology, Construction Industry, Quantity Surveying, Effectiveness

Abbreviation and Acronyms

BOQ – Bill of Quantities

CAD – Computer Aided Drafting

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning

IT – Information Technology

QS – Quantity Surveyor

WBS – Work Breakdown Structure

1.0) Introduction

Information Technology (IT) is a very vast field where it makes people’s works very easy and less complex. According to (Ihab , 2010) IT uses computer system or a software application to store, process or share information. IT has lot of advantages to any industry it is being used.

Therefore it can be seen that most of the QS use and apply IT in their profession on daily basis and additionally QS have the opportunity to adapt for Work from Home (WFH) concept where it saves a lot of their time, increase in more productivity and moreover that concept can be very useful in a global pandemic situation. However construction industry is still in a slow progression and only uses it for emailing and data entry only. The ultimate goal of the use of IT in QS practice is to use software packages and to build up the profession of Quantity Surveying.

However it has been identified that there are some barriers in implementing IT in construction industry. Over the years researches have been made and steps have been taken in order to identify those barriers and how to overcome them. By a comprehensive literature review it will identify the effects of implementing IT and the barriers that have to be faced when implementing IT in Sri Lankan QS practice and furthermore how to overcome those and implement IT effectively in the Quantity Surveying will be discussed.

This literature survey was carried out with the objective of identifying the effects and uses of implantation of IT in construction industry and identifying the barriers that draw back implementation of IT in the industry with the aim of improving effective implementation of IT in the current state of construction industry.

2.0) Literature Review

2.1) Current state of the IT in Construction Field

Construction field consists of multi-disciplinary teams and stakeholders where they work together to make the construction project a successful one. They will directly affect the time, cost and quality of that construction project. Quantity Surveying is a multi- tasking profession where they must perform their duties on time with the highest level of accuracy. Therefore adopting of IT can help them to complete their tasks accordingly.

2.2) Effects of Information Technology (IT) in Construction Industry

Where ever we go or whatever we do IT keeps us all connected together and updated. (Muhsinzoda, 2015) Has identified that the benefits gained by IT field is the reason why it has been quickly embraced by the people all around the world. Time saving is a key benefit of use of IT. People have the opportunity to work from anywhere at any time and they can communicate with each other instantly, While eliminating the busy work from their lives, it also helps in creating new job opportunities and closes the communication barriers.

2.3) IT Usage in Construction industry

IT applications and soft-wares can be used for constructing drawing, Cost estimation, measurements preparing BOQs, calculating material requirements, E-Tendering, project planning etc. and can be used at any stage of a construction project. They will also help in reducing paper usage and will increase the data protection.

2.4) Barrier in implementing IT in construction industry

· High Cost of Software availability.

· Lack of awareness and skills among staff

· Lack of Technical Support and Training.

· Reluctant of employees to adopt IT in their organizations and fear of change to new methodical ways of carrying out works.

2.5) Overcoming the Barriers in implementing IT in construction industr

Although it is very difficult to overcome at maximum level of succession rate for above identified barriers. Finding solutions in order to deal with those constraint could really improve the performance, productivity, administration in a construction firm.

Conducting training sessions for employees and expose and comprehend them into benefits of implication of IT. Assisting them in difficult areas by encouraging them and having professional assisters. Initiating a help desk so that they can be assisted at any time. Conducting workshop programs on regular basis. Allowing financial support in increasing the IT usage at the industry organizations.

3.0) Conclusion

The objective of this literature review was to identify benefits of implementing IT in Quantity Surveying practice and then the identification of constraints when implementing IT in Construction field. So it was clear that the implementing IT in Quantity Surveying practice has lot of positive impact in the construction field. It would make their professions very easy to organize, manage and perform their duties as discussed in above literature survey. So adopting IT in their profession plays a very vital role. However “Information Technology presents the Quantity Surveying profession with many challenges” (Smith, 2019). With the advancement of the IT, the risk of inexperienced and unskilled persons utilizing user friendly software can happen with the time. Nevertheless the experienced professional demand will remain the same for the Quantity Surveyors. Furthermore (Brandon & Tuba, 2008) argued that any political, fundamental and any present obstacles will not keep adopting IT in organizations, but the strong will and motivation to change and adapt will do.

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