Both CASE and HP undertook an interesting AEC industry software study in 2013, the results of which were presented at Autodesk University 2013 late last year.
The study, which surveyed 429 leading AEC industry professionals, looked at firm use of three types of software serving the AEC industry: (1) Project Management, (2) Knowledge Management, and (3) ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning. The results of the survey clearly show a big divide on the use of these software categories depending on the firm size.
Values and Focus in PM, KM and ERP Software
The survey acknowledges and reveals one of the regretful aspects of the modern AEC industry with respect to other industries worldwide–the often uneven use of relevant computation tools for what some in the industry call “back-of-house” technologies.
While less glamorous than fancy 3D CAD systems and innovative mobile applications for field operations work, the bottom line is that effective use of back-of-house technologies can have a lasting result on a firm’s overall performance.
Following a methodology similar to NBS National BIM Report and the Design Intelligence 2012 Technology and Innovation Survey, the CASE+HP study revealed that firm size truly is affecting the use of these areas of software.
One of the most notable examples is in the area of Project Management software use. For firms greater than 20 employees (that is, mid-size, large or enterprise size firms) nearly half of such firms use a dedicated Project Management software solution. On the flip side, small firms (less than 20 employees) are not. The respondents indicated that only 6 percent were using Project Management software.
Project Management software options mentioned in the report included solution leaders like Newforma, Autodesk 360, ProjectWise, Aconex, Gehry Technologies GTeam, and others. The report lists the top three solutions firms–who presently don’t use Project Management software–are considering for adoption.
Participants cited concerns about the Project Management software space, including items like user-interface issues, interoperability to BIM workflows and other issues.
Not surprisingly, the results for Knowledge Management software and ERP fall into similar lines of use patterns based on firm size. However, the explanations for adoption or non-adoption vary quite a bit based on these software segments and the focus and issues they address.
For instance, in the area of Knowledge Management, which rightly should include “knowledge capture,” some serious issues involve such things as getting employees to even use them. There is also the issue of “fit” to the industry in which these software options serve. The second most common Knowledge Management solution is an “In-House custom App” precisely to address the fit issue.
Obtaining Free Report
The CASE+HP report on Project Management, Knowledge Management and ERP software in AEC industry is free to download. We highly recommend it to IT professionals in AEC firms, including upper management and principals.
The report is available here. Simply complete the name and email fields to get your free white paper report.