Rob Howard, visiting professor,
Department of Planning, Technical University of Denmark, DK 2800 Lyngby
Arto Kiviniemi, senior research scientist
Construction & Facility Management, VTT Building Technology, FIN-02044
Olle Samuelson, civil engineer,
Department of Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology, S-100 44
SUMMARY: With many surveys being carried out on the use of IT, it is important to ensure that their results can be compared and that they can be repeated to gain a picture of the growth of IT use and of particular successes. The IT barometer survey summarised in this paper compares results from Denmark, Finland and Sweden on the use of computer hardware, software and communications. It is complementary to other surveys looking at the strategic use of IT within companies.
Microsoft products dominate both operating systems and office applications in all these countries but there is greater useWindows NT and UNIX in Finland. CAD is used in almost all design offices in Sweden, with Autocad as the dominant product, but Microstation is now more widely used by architects in Denmark. CAD data structures are becoming more advanced with objects being used by more firms in Finland and Sweden, but structured 2D data dominates in Denmark. Communications networks are used in about 90% of Swedish firms but only in about 60% in Denmark. Danish property managers make greater use of computers.
Further analysis is needed of the data from Finland, and comparable surveys are being carried out in other countries. The comparison of these is being coordinated by the CIB W78 group which plans to repeat the surveys, using similar questions, in 2000. This will help to measure the increase in awareness and use of IT resulting from national IT development projects which have started in Finland and Sweden. A network linking national IT centres is planned to exchange experience and coordinate this work, so that there can be greater integration of systems between different types of firm in construction, and within international projects.
KEYWORDS: survey, international, computers, CAD, communications, construction industry