NFB report gives a snapshot of construction's digital transformation

A new report from the National Federation of Builders (NFB) suggests that, in contrast to the reputation of the industry, many contractors are embracing digital technology and gaining real benefits as a result. It also highlights that there is still more that can be done, especially with regard to cyber security.

Pete Stemp - Senior Copywriter

Peter Stemp17.07.2023

The report, Technological Transformation and Cyber Security: Insights from Construction Contractors, details the findings of the surveys conducted during the NFB’s Construction Summit. The research looked at NFB members’ attitudes to, and progress in, digital transformation and cybersecurity.

One of the key findings outlined in the report is that 85% of those asked said they have implemented some type of digital transformation within their business. Achieving a competitive advantage was found to be the biggest motivator for undertaking the digital transformation process with 58% citing this as the reason. Far smaller proportions cited ‘procurement - client needs/wants’ (15%) and ‘fear of getting left behind’ (15%). Overall, 64% said it had delivered sustainable business improvements. In addition, the majority (59%) had implemented some sort of staff training to improve digital awareness, knowledge and expertise. However, less than half (43%) of those surveyed said they have a member of staff who is designated as responsible for it.

The NFB research also looked at cyber security. While only 24% of respondents said their business had been the subject of a cyber-attack in 2022, the fact that it has happened to as many as one in four businesses shows it is a serious issue. However, as the report details, a fifth (20%) said they were not sure, meaning the number could be higher. The NFB report also notes that many types of cyber security breaches, such as phishing scams, can be combatted relatively simply with the right training and awareness among the staff.

Reassuringly, almost half (49%) said there is a senior person within the business who is responsible for cyber security. Nearly one third (30%) said their business assesses cyber security risks every month, with a further 18% assessing these risks annually. Only a small proportion (12%) never evaluate their cyber vulnerabilities but again, a large number (39%) said they were not sure how often this process was carried out.

Digital technology is an increasingly important part of construction but an area where the industry has traditionally been seen as slow to act. This report shows that in fact many contractors are taking steps to integrate digital processes and innovations into their business and experiencing the benefits of doing so.

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