Construction industry spends least on IT

Updated Jan 30, 2013

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On average, construction companies only spend 1.35 percent of their revenues on information technology, placing the industry last behind 14 others in a report done by Gartner Research.

Construction companies with revenue of $250 million were found to spend 1.6 percent of their revenues on IT, while those companies with revenue of $10 billion were found to spend 1.1 percent, according to the report.

Closely competing with construction for last place in the report was the retail industry, whose companies with $250 million in revenue spend 1.9 percent on IT, while those with $10 billion in revenue only spend 0.9 percent.

The federal government and the banking industry topped the list. In 2013, Gartner forecasts worldwide enterprise IT spending increasing by 2.5 percent to $2.7 trillion.

It’s unclear whether construction will see much change to its ranking in coming years, but it’s very likely the construction industry’s IT spending will at least increase as tablets, smartphones, software and telematics become more of a fixture both on the jobsite and inside the office.

During Trimble Dimensions 2012, Trimble President and CEO Steve Berglund spoke about the five tech trends he sees impacting construction today. Three of those — processing power, increased/faster wireless data connectivity and cheaper/more expansive data storage — should affect construction IT spending in the next few years.

In addition, an increased emphasis was placed behind the agcXML standard for construction software development by the formation of the Construction Open Software Alliance earlier this year. The hope is that the adoption of the standard will result in better integration between software and increased use.