6 Questions to Guide Your AECO Firm’s Digital Initiatives

This is the seventh entry in a series of articles by the CIO Advisory Team. Check out the previous one here.

You know you are ready to take the next step in the expansion and growth of your firm, but you aren’t sure how to introduce new initiatives in line with your current mission. Your answers to the series of questions below can serve as early indicators of the digital transformation challenges ahead and define the type of support that may be needed.

Consider the Following:

What do you do day-to-day that’s care and maintenance? If your IT team is spending more time on break/fix issues, and machine upgrades, configurations and roll-outs, chances are they may lack the free time to introduce modern technologies that can help operations improve from a day-to-day efficiency standpoint. If you find that your teams are spending time answering the same questions time and again, perhaps more investment in time and expertise is needed to permanently resolve recurring pain points.

Do you have legacy processes and procedures that could be streamlined through fresh digital workflows? These are also opportunities to drive efficiency and agility throughout the enterprise when modernized using cloud and mobile means. It’s important to design more time into everyone’s schedule to allow for more strategic digital transformation initiatives. Achieving operational excellence is the foundation of any digital transformation effort.

How is the nature of work changing in your organization? If your industry and direct competitors are adopting leading technologies that support distributed teaming through robust construction cloud platforms, workflows enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI), immersive experiences driven by augmented reality (AR) and smarter buildings managed by better asset management methods, you will want to determine what that should look like for your company. These types of technologies can support better decision-making and streamline collaboration and management while helping to share information with a broader field of stakeholders.

If these and other digital programs are important to your business, then developing a proof of concept (POC) approach for introducing new technology-in-practice initiatives can help you achieve your objectives and establish a vibrant innovation-driven culture going forward. Providing a modern workplace environment that excites project teams and extends their ability to deliver outstanding project results is also foundational to your digital transformation efforts.

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How are customer relationships and your partner networks changing, and how can this influence your go-to-market strategy and business development efforts? Leading digital communication and social platforms have transformed how we reach out, engage and workshare over time and distance. Increasingly the expectation is that work can be performed at any time, from any place and any device.

Does this cause you to rethink digital-driven opportunities, and how do you measure success and failure across a distributed workforce in a timely fashion with transparency and minimal friction in mind? Digital experiences and customer expectations are often driven by innovations beyond our own industry and control. As a result, the expectation is that we can deliver accurate digital information to our ecosystem in a secure and timely fashion so that all parties remain well connected and up to date. This directly informs how we create, collect, manage and share digital information both short and long term.

Would the ideas above be seen as a competitive advantage that would help you win more work, deliver better projects and attract top talent, or would it be viewed simply as something you must do to stay in business? Digital can offer many advantages when properly mapped to your mission. It can introduce new opportunities to drive greater efficiency and more sales while delivering better project outcomes for existing customers. It can help you attract top talent and expand your reach into new regions that were once considered untouchable. Perhaps most important, digital transformation can ultimately offer business practical capabilities that enable you to get back to what you’ve always found exciting about your business!

Find out more about how Microdesk enables AECO firms to LEAD through managed IT services from the CIO Advisory team. Contact our team here.