European construction sector displays deep resilience and optimism combined with commitment to digitisation post-COVID

Source: press release, 13 July 2021

InEight chief executive officer, Jake Macholtz
InEight chief executive officer, Jake Macholtz (photo: InEight)

InEight Inc., a global provider of construction project management software, has launched its first annual Global Capital Projects Outlook. The Outlook, drawing insights from new research conducted with the world’s largest capital project owners and contractor construction professionals across Europe, the Americas and APAC, focuses on optimism levels and digitisation, and found that despite COVID-19, 89% of European respondents are either fairly or very optimistic about their future, and the same amount believe their organisation to be resilient.

In Europe, digital transformation is considered the biggest short-term source of opportunity according to 69% of respondents – a trend that was echoed across regions (71% global average) – with data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning considered most critical for success for the next 1 to 3 years. However, respondents in Europe are divided on the ongoing impact of the economic situation, with 44% identifying economic recovery as an opportunity, and 48% seeing economic stagnation or recession as a risk to their organisation’s growth in the coming year. In comparison, respondents in the Americas are somewhat more upbeat, with 53% identifying economic recovery as an opportunity, and only 42% considering it a threat.

Despite the varying economic interpretations, respondents are largely positive when it comes to improvements being made to deliver projects on budget. Though when it comes to delivering projects on time, European respondents are slightly less optimistic than their global counterparts. 56% of European respondents say that, in the last 3 years, the number of projects delivered on or ahead of schedule has increased. While that’s over half, in APAC, that opinion is carried by a higher 61%. However, when asked about delivering projects on or under budget, the roles reverse, with 56% of Europeans reporting a significant or slight increase in projects being delivered on or under budget, compared to 52% in APAC and 55% in the Americas. Though market nuances exist, encouragingly, 83% globally are confident of completing future projects on or ahead of schedule, and 82% confident of doing so on or under budget.

Commenting on the Outlook, Jake Macholtz, CEO, InEight, says, “The results of our Outlook speak to a European construction sector that is brimming with confidence and optimism, one that has proved itself more than equal to the tremendous challenges it has faced this past year. It also points longer term to an industry continuing its digital evolution. Europe is a particularly interesting region in this regard. A hotspot for early tech adoption, we are now seeing some firms less tantalized by the prospects of greater digital transformation. This tempered enthusiasm though, is with good reason, as they have gained a measure of realism from their previous experience compared to global counterparts. This is coupled with the fallout from COVID-19 continuing to be a risk that is hampering resources.”

“However, respondents are shown to be aware that lagging behind on digitisation will mean being potentially outpaced by the competition and despite the challenges faced, investments are still being made, or planned, to take advantage of the benefits advanced technologies have to offer. This leaves me fully confident that our industry will collaboratively rise to the occasion and continue on an already well-trodden digital path,” continues Macholtz.

While regions across the globe gather digital pace at slightly differing speeds and Europe often neither lagging nor leading its geographical peers, what is a commonality, is that the construction industry is foundational to the success of economies and societies worldwide. It is encouraging that despite a difficult year, respondents remain resilient and optimistic for the future; committed to continuing as a vibrant, vital and innovation-minded industry.

To access the full report, visit http://ineight.com/globaloutlook-2021.