ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 25-42, http://www.itcon.org/2012/2

ITC expenditure and trends in the UK construction industry in facing the challenges of the global economic crisis

submitted:July 2011
published:March 2012
editor(s):Amor R.
authors:Jason Underwood, Dr,
School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, M5 4WT, United Kingdom;
j.underwood@salford.ac.uk

Farzad Khosrowshahi, Professor,
School of the Built Environment and Engineering, Leeds Metropolitan University, , LS1 3HE, United Kingdom;
f.khosrowshahi@leedsmet.ac.uk
summary:The role of ICT has evolved from a tool and utility to become a strategic asset for any organisation towards delivering business improvement and value. Furthermore, the importance of ICT-based innovation is recognized in bringing productivity improvements and sustainable competitive advantage to industry. Construction is an extremely information-intensive and knowledge-based industry. Therefore organisations need to fully embrace ICT in order to remain competitive. The construction industry has invested heavily in ICT; however expenditure still remains relatively low when compared to other sectors. Economic conditions strongly affect ICT investment and the recent worldwide financial crisis has led to organisations taking urgent measures as they review all aspects of their business overheads and expenditure, which ICT represents a significant proportion. This paper presents a study that was undertaken at the heart of the economic downturn to investigate the current ICT operating and capital expenditure, coping strategies, and forecasting trends for the UK construction industry. Analysis of the responses from within the top 200 UK contractor and consultant organisations suggest that managers of companies consider ICT as a driver for process efficiency and an imperative enabler to facilitate flexible information processing and communications infrastructure through which the company can collaborate and transact business with its clients, consultants, and supply-chain partners. This is despite persisting problems associated with value chain integration. However, the impact of the current economic downturn requires restraining of operational and capital budgets, which in turn, requires radical optimization of ICT resources leading to ‘more for less’.
keywords:Construction Industry, ICT, Economic Downturn, Expenditure, Cost Reduction and Measures, ICT Budget, ICT Trends.
full text: (PDF file, 0.607 MB)
citation:Jason Underwood, Farzad Khosrowshahi (2012). ITC expenditure and trends in the UK construction industry in facing the challenges of the global economic crisis, ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 25-42, http://www.itcon.org/2012/2