5 Key IT points for CEOs in AEC

At Freeman Clarke, we work extensively in AEC (architecture, engineering and construction). We’ve noted very clearly that when AEC companies use IT effectively, they steal a march on their competitors. And this gap is widening as new technologies gain traction.

If you’re the CEO of an AEC company, here are five key points to consider.

  1. Project and cost planning and tracking is at the heart of this business.

Project work is high-pressure. It can verge on chaotic when projects are running at full tilt. Everyone—contractors, architects, engineers, suppliers and fabricators—wastes huge amounts of time and energy making sense of paperwork. All anyone wants is to raise their invoices and get their cash, but systems and processes need to make this work efficiently. When you get all this right, you have significant advantages over the competition.

  1. Streamline your onsite systems.

Onsite work is harsh and cramped. Many staff are temporary, and people are under pressure. Issues like theft and health & safety add more layers of complexity. There are additional demands of large files and large printers, often with poor connectivity. From a financing point of view, the industry is organised around capital spends, whereas many IT providers want to move to opex models. You need an IT leader who understands how to make all this work.

  1. BIM will sweep the industry.

New building information modeling (BIM) standards are creating new opportunities for companies—but also but placing new pressures on unprepared businesses. Just as CAD rapidly replaced the drafting table, BIM will sweep through the industry. So you’d better be ready.

  1. You need a dedicated IT leader.

Many AEC companies do not have a proper CIO or IT Director but instead have a fairly operational IT leader. You stand a much better chance of growing your business with an experienced Board-level IT leader.

  1. Keep your eyes on the future.

New tech—like the Internet of Things, drones, augmented reality, new surveying tech and digital fabrication tools—will transform operational activities. While we don’t believe in obsessing over each shiny new thing, it’s in your best interest to stay on top of new technology.

At Freeman Clarke, we work with many AEC clients in diverse areas of the sector—getting the basics right, solving systems and process problems, and adopting proven new technologies. If you have questions about how IT can help your AEC business, feel free to get in touch for a low-pressure chat.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.