Research into COVID Impact on Property Industry Reveals Digital Investment Needed For Growth

In BICSI Blog, BICSI Bytes, Featured, News by

According to a recent report from a survey of 166 senior industry leaders, Australia’s property industry remains “remarkably resilient”, with leaders now focused on the challenges of growth.

The report, entitled ‘Data Differentiator’ (conducted by Procore Technologies and commissioned by the Property Council of Australia to address using data today to mitigate tomorrow’s risk) found the pandemic has not significantly influenced the viability of the industry’s project pipeline, and that leaders are focused on technology as a long-term play, rather than a response to short-term challenges.

Property Council Chief Executive, Ken Morrison said the survey results underscore the remarkable resilience of Australia’s property industry, adding: “The industry’s main worries are weighted towards the challenges of growth: securing land and funding, and delivering trustworthy buildings at a rapid rate.”

Tom Karemacher, Vice President Asia Pacific at Procore Technologies added that in response to these challenges, senior leaders are “driving digital technology agendas at speed”.

“Industry leaders are boosting their baseline technology and data capabilities to better balance their risk profile, with digital transformation an area of focus for 53% of respondents.”

The report revealed that a host of challenges, from regulatory pressure to emissions reduction, were already driving Australia’s development industry to invest in digital technology prior to the global pandemic. New technology is essential to keep sites safe and open today, but long-term it will help the industry meet cost, efficiency and compliance requirements.

Key highlights from the report:

  • 82% of respondents said compliance and a commitment to high quality were “imperative” to ensure projects remained competitive; however 18% saw compliance as either “somewhat important” or “desirable”.
  • 53% of respondents said digital transformation was on their radar; 20% said it was not.
  • 21% of respondents review their project management software every 12 months, but 22% operate the same system for five or more years.
  • 85% of respondents noted COVID has not influenced the viability of the industry’s project pipeline. Rather, their concerns are about challenges of growth and managing risk.

“The survey reveals a clear divide between digital leaders and laggards,” Karemacher added. “Most respondents recognise that technology and data underpin better decision-making, eliminate mundane tasks, help to retain top talent and, importantly, support the delivery of trustworthy buildings. Despite this, 79% of development companies are reviewing their project management software with alarming infrequency.”

Morrison concluded: “The survey results are a source of optimism as the development industry sits at challenging crossroads. But the report also comes with a clear warning. We need to step up our investment in digital technology to transform our processes, elevate quality and meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.”