The Middle East is an exciting region for anyone looking to tap into a growing market.
Saudi Arabia is investing US$500B in infrastructure, and Dubai is transforming into a financial hub and tourist destination. In fact, many other cities in the broader region are being built from the ground up. Traditional oil and gas industries still require massive funding, too.
So how can the E&C industry benefit from this surging Middle Eastern boom?
Imagine trying to explain modern E&C technology, materials, and resources available in the industry today to a construction worker from a century ago.
Their jaw might drop at today’s technical solutions: “You mean, you can store project information in the sky??”
Today’s technological advancements have empowered us to maximize our productivity compared to how we managed projects one hundred years ago. A megaproject (valued at US $1B or below) may have seemed daunting in the past, but we’re quickly adapting to a new normal. The giga project (valued at US $1B or more) encompasses even greater complexity, capital expenditures, and risk.
I recently traveled to Europe and the Middle East to build awareness around our project controls solution, Connected Cost, which launched earlier this year.
I had the pleasure of meeting with several customers, as well as reporters from leading E&C publications. I also presented at the Project Controls Expo in London and spoke on a panel in Dubai about project controls trends and the massive opportunities in the region. Phew!
Here’s what’s exciting: these markets want to improve the way they’re currently managing, reporting, and ultimately delivering projects.
Don’t get hit by a bus!
The construction industry is rapidly transitioning from old-school legacy and ad-hoc tools to modern, forward-looking solutions. With this industry shift in mind, which would you prefer: getting the license plate of the bus that just hit you or being warned that a bus is coming toward you?
In other words, would you prefer to stick with the status quo, spending valuable team resources searching and tracking, or would you prefer using modern technology to provide timely reporting and forward looking insights so your team can plan, analyze and execute effectively?
As a construction technology veteran with over twenty years of experience, whenever I ask construction businesses how they manage cost, their typical response is: “We use spreadsheets.”
In fact, the KPMG 2015 Global Construction Project Owners survey states that “50% of construction companies have not yet introduced an integrated Project Management Information System (PMIS )”*. Old-school spreadsheets still prevail, and the construction industry still has a long way to go in adopting digital project management solutions.