Useful insights from Ganesh Deshmukh, General Manager Sales-Infrastructure during an interview as he joins the team of Magnasoft.
The AEC market is definitely maturing, more appropriately evolving and the trends are definitely encouraging. Three pillars namely “People”, “Process” and “Technology” drive the transformation of any industry and AEC is not an exception to this. We observe that all these three pillars have matured over the years and will evolve more in future.
I see huge investments happening in infrastructure projects around the globe and strongly believe that any change/transformation is directly proportional to the investments. The financial will is an important aspect to see that type of change and maturity. So, the growing investments are adding pressure on the complete supply chain of the AEC market. The growing pressure is allowing people to think differently to deliver the projects on time and on budget.
Digital technologies are also emerging and helping drive that transformation. So, the expectations are definitely changing from each other. For example, owners are expecting better visibility into every phase of the project. They are aware that the technology is available to get those insights. So, there is an expectation from the general contractors, program managers to implement a digital platform that can help them with such analytics and help them in decision making. There are many such examples that can be cited on changing expectations.
I believe that changing expectations keep everyone on toes and drive innovation. That is a very positive sign. AEC has been very traditional for the longest time and is far behind in terms of technological advancements and adoption but it is catching up very quickly.
The pandemic has completely changed the way we work, we behave professionally, socially, communicate, collaborate etc. The AEC market is also facing changes. Construction needs labours to be present on the site but the labour rates have gone up due to increase in safety norms that have been imposed by the governing authorities. Architectural, Engineering and project management profiles remain less unaffected. New technologies are being implemented and embraced to limit the effect of current pandemic.
Emerging digital technologies is where I see maximum action happening in the AEC sector. As per Deloitte Report on “2021 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook” the engineering companies who had embraced digital technologies learning from 2008 recession was impacted less and suffered less losses.
The technologies that are gaining maximum traction in the AEC sector are Drone technologies to capture live feeds and images of the construction site in order to monitor the construction progress sitting in office and avoiding trips to the site, thus saving cost and not compromising on human safety. Other technologies are Artificial Intelligence/ Machine learning (AI/ML), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Building information modelling, creation of digital twin platforms for collaboration, design reviews, validation, handover, operational analytics etc. Automation using self-driving vehicles and drones performing repetitive tasks to deliver the project on time and on budget is another emerging technology trend in the construction industry.
Magnasoft has been working in the technology sphere of the AEC market from the last 20 years and has garnered tremendous experience. Since its foundation the technology has evolved ten folds and Magnasoft has been witness to it. Magnasoft has kept evolving based on the changing market trends. It implies that Magnasoft understands the market well and understands what it takes to drive the innovation and digital transformation to help the AEC market to deliver the projects on time and on budget. Magnasoft is also investing; learning and embracing new emerging technologies and getting ready to create an impact in the changing scenario.
I have gathered lot of experience and expertise (over 10 years) in solving business problems of the engineering community especially in the infrastructure vertical using digital technologies in my previous profile with Bentley Systems. Currently, I am extensively doing market research on the emerging technologies and trends as well as talking to my industry friends, connections and ex-colleagues to understand the deeper problems in the AEC market. The plan is then to come up with a solution (involving the emerging technologies we talked about) and a service model to attack and eliminate those problems thus creating a long term value for our customers.
Magnasoft has already created a mark in the bottom layer of the pyramid i.e. data collection and data processing and the intent is to move up the value chain by adding layers on top such as data management, data governance, change management, analytics, customizations etc. So, the focus is on expanding our resource base and strengthening our abilities and creating expertise for the added layers.
Digital twin, AI/ML, Video/Image analytics are other areas gaining lot of momentum in the construction industry, and I strongly feel we should start putting a road map in place to create expertise around it.
Digital Twin is a buzzword these days in the market and many technology players such as Bentley, Willow, Dassault, Autodesk, Invicara etc. have developed Digital Twin platforms.
It’s true that the digital twin platforms are there, but the core questions are: who is going to make these platforms reliable in operations, who is going to make these platforms IOT ready, where will the data come from , who will maintain and update the data etc. A huge gap exists there and Magnasoft has the expertise, resources and experience to fill that gap. Magnasoft is equipped to become the single point of ownership to run the services program thus saving time invested by clients on multiparty interactions.
President Biden recently announced a $2 Trillion plan to re-build infrastructure and reshape the economy. The bill includes a significant funding of $225 Billion in infrastructure domain that includes airports, roads, bridges, ports etc. So, there is definitely a huge financial will out there and focusing on that market is a natural instinct. As per reports from leading consultants such as Mckinsey and Deloitte, huge digital investments are happening in the E&C market especially in digital twins, 3DBIM++, digital supply networks, autonomous rovers & drones, predictive maintenance. Magnasoft being in that digital space for the last 20 years and definitely will add lot of value in solving the deeper problems.
Globally every market is recouping from the post pandemic effects and so is the AEC market. But I see a huge technological disruption in that market with new technologies and new players emerging and everyone claiming to solve the problems. I think the intense competition will prove beneficial and better technologies will emerge thus proving beneficial to our customers. Magnasoft has over 20+ years of experience in digitizing the world using geospatial and engineering technologies, so we are gearing up to be a key player in this changing market of increased expectations and demands. We are getting prepared to make a bigger difference.