Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Will you be a disruptive influence at your firm?

Are you disruptive? Disruption is one of those words that sounds negative, but is increasingly being redefined to describe the potential for improvement.

Disruptive technologies, for example, have the ability to completely change the way an industry does things.

They can eliminate, in one fell swoop, an arduous process that has previously taken several people lots of time. Or they can simplify communication to the point where it quickly becomes impossible to remember how we ever did things ‘the old way’.

So I’m not asking if you’re a trouble-maker, but rather whether you’re looking to change the way you and your colleagues serve your customers’ needs.

The potential for disruptive technologies to completely transform the industry came up repeatedly at the Construction News Summit last week.

Step forward, innovation

What will be the construction equivalent of Uber or Airbnb?

“In construction, numerous companies are pushing at the technological and digital boundaries”

The success of those companies comes from basing a business model around technological innovation. The result is that their competitors are up in arms – but really we all know there is no way back from here; for the time being Uber and Airbnb simply have the best tech and the best business model.

In construction, numerous companies are pushing at the technological and digital boundaries. We’ve not seen anything – yet – that has altered the industry beyond recognition. But it’s just a matter of time.

Will the digital disruptors be existing construction businesses or new entrants?

Possible outcomes

My most shared tweet at last week’s Summit was one quoting the prediction that the construction jobs of the future would be “data wranglers, drone managers and people with soft skills” to communicate with the public. It resonates because we know it’s true.

“The Summit this week was proof that no matter how far technology advances, you can’t beat the value of face-to-face interaction”

But it’s essential to realise that ‘future’ is not far away.

Some things won’t change. The Summit this week was proof that no matter how far technology advances, you can’t beat the value of face-to-face interaction.

But the common theme over the two days was that the industry needs to accelerate the pace of technical change.

To solve the skills crisis, futureproof your career and secure your business’s longer-term success, you will need to do three things: embrace digital technologies; steal ideas from outside the industry; and, however counterintuitive it seems, be disruptive.

Construction News Summit 2015

To see, hear and read the very best from the Constuction News Summit programme in minutes, check out the coverage at cnplus.co.uk/Summit

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.