New analysis of the construction technology ecosystem finds emerging trends

The McKinsey & Company September 2018 Capital Projects & Infrastructure article entitled “Seizing opportunity in today’s construction technology ecosystem,” authored by Jose Luis Blanco, Andrew Mullin, Kaustubh Pandya, Matthew Parsons, and Maria Joao Ribeirinho, highlights “a new analysis of the construction technology ecosystem… emerging trends, constellations of solutions, and an ever-increasing universe of technology use cases that are disrupting the way we plan, design, and execute projects.”

“Constellations” of connected solutions emerging around established use cases

“Seizing opportunity in today’s construction technology ecosystem” expands its scope from the previous year to include the full asset life cycle – concept and feasibility, design and engineering, preconstruction, construction, commissioning (Cx), and operations and maintenance (O&M). McKinsey maps the construction technology landscape, identifying “constellations” of connected solutions emerging around established use cases – indicating impacts “…expected to rapidly increase in the near future” such as artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to be “transformational” for construction

Further, the “constellations” of connected solutions span the three use case clusters: on-site execution (“field”), digital collaboration (“team”), and back-office adjacencies (“office”). McKinsey predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics are now positioned to be “transformational” for the construction industry and built environment. Weather enabled decision support solutions are a prime example of artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics, which span the three primary use case clusters from the field, to the team and to the office.

AI and analytics have boundless potential uses cases in construction

Mapping the construction technology ecosystem, McKinsey categorizes machine learning (ML), deep learning, and predictive asset performance in the artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics group, with connections to numerous use cases: real-time monitoring and control, compliance, equipment management, and materials management, for example. “AI and analytics have boundless potential uses cases in E&C (Engineering & Construction)… applying machine learning (ML) to an ongoing project…” can optimize schedules to sequence tasks and meet deadlines.

The potential impact of artificial intelligence and analytics is so large that the construction industry can no longer afford to ignore it!

(Source: Blanco, Jose Luis, et al. “Seizing Opportunity in Today’s Construction Technology Ecosystem.” McKinsey & Company, 2018,

More in the next blog post about weather decision support, weather safety and weather risk management…

About the authors of “Seizing opportunity in today’s construction technology ecosystem”

Jose Luis Blanco is a partner in McKinsey’s Philadelphia office, where Matthew Parsons is a senior partner. Andrew Mullin is a partner in the Toronto office; Kaustubh Pandya is an alumnus of the San Francisco office; and Maria Joao Ribeirinho is a partner in the Lisbon and Madrid offices.

McKinsey Capital Projects & Infrastructure

McKinsey’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure practice is a leading adviser on the planning, financing, construction delivery, and operation of infrastructure, energy, mining, real estate, and other large capital projects and portfolios worldwide. We help clients improve on-time and on-budget delivery of major projects and get the most out of existing capital assets. Working alongside owners, developers, contractors, and financiers, we have experience across all markets, asset classes, and stages of the project life cycle. McKinsey provides our clients with a unique combination of strategic advisers, practitioners with deep sector and market knowledge, and senior technical experts with decades of industry experience in design and construction. Over the past five years, we have delivered impact across more than 3,000 engagements, including work on 150 major projects collectively valued at more than $1 trillion. Our unique ability to partner with our clients and drive fundamental change is rooted in our independent perspective, our alignment with client goals, a deep commitment to innovation and impact, and the depth and breadth of our expertise and experience.

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. For 90 years, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients’ most trusted external advisor. With consultants in over 110 locations in over 60 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organization to shape winning strategies, mobilize for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution.

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