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Survey Reveals That IT Is Vital To Housebuilders Industry

Autodesk revealed the results of its Hard Hats and Laptops survey into the use of technology in the housebuilding industry.

The independent survey commissioned by the Computer Aided Design software developer aimed to discover the key business pressures experienced by technical, commercial and construction teams and how technology can help address these issues.

The survey comes at a difficult time for the housebuilding industry when a myriad of global, political, economic and business factors are combining to create the current conditions.

It found that while the housebuilding industry is typically cautious of new technologies due to the sheer number of skills, professionals and trades involved, 71% stated that IT was key to both their business and delivery to customers.

The survey also uncovered levels of inefficiency, with one third of senior and middle management stating that they did not know how much their company was spending on tendering.

A further quarter of senior management said that printing and postage costs amounted to £30,000 annually, while 31% did not know how much it was costing their company.

Other major concerns for the industry included poor collaboration between suppliers and contractors which 33% of middle management noted as a serious concern. Lengthy planning processes were also a major concern for 48% of senior management.

Despite the obvious benefits that a Collaborative Project Management (CPM) solution could deliver in eliminating these inefficiencies and the fact that 42% of firms of 2,500 employees or above cited collaboration as one of their top three business issues, a worrying proportion of those surveyed said that they weren't familiar with CPM solutions.

Of those who had knowledge of the software only one third of the total sample had ever used CPM solutions and 41% of those said that they had experienced issues managing the control of information both internally and externally.

Other Key Findings

* 99% of survey respondents use email to manage the flow of information

* 47% said they struggled with the limitations of email

* 88% said it was important for their firm to have access to up to date information

* 46% of tendering activity costs over £5,000 per project

* 41% have issues managing the control of information, internally and externally

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.