According to a recent report by global project-based business software provider Deltek, architecture and engineering (A&E) firms are confident that investing in technology can fuel profitability and growth into 2024. The study found that 40% of firms deemed digital innovation essential in establishing long-term resilience in this rapidly evolving macroeconomic environment.
The 'Deltek's Digital Trends Unwrapped: Tech Powering Architecture and Engineering Project Success in 2024' report discovered that despite 18% of A&E firms lacking a defined strategy for consistent growth, digital transformation is viewed as a gateway to unlock growth and profitability in the upcoming year.
The research underlines the increasing influence of IT infrastructure investment as a growth catalyst, with 44% of engineering firms identifying it as a significant opportunity.
Furthermore, the study indicated that just 42% of engineering and 33% of architecture firms consider themselves in an advanced or mature stage of their digital transformation journey. Yet, almost 38% confirmed they were still in the exploratory phase. Among the key findings, 92% of firms concurred that failure to advance substantially in their digital transformation could result in a loss of market share.
Post-Covid, amidst the global economic downturn, the report highlights the consensus amongst firms on the significance of digital transformation for rejuvenating the market. Even in the acceptance of the realistic timelines needed for effective transformation, firms demonstrate a strong appetite to push forward.
Neil Davidson, Group Vice President, Professional Services Sector at Deltek, stated, "It's reassuring that so many firms connect that digital transformation is intrinsically linked to long-term resilience. With the right investment strategies, firms can make the most of limited resources while still driving their business forward in a way that aligns with a long-term strategy."
The report also emphasised a shift in corporate priorities. Almost 58% of the surveyed A&E firms believe social responsibility should be equally important to a company's profits. Moreover, 25% of the firms reported placing significantly more importance on Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues than the start of 2022.
Solely 42% of engineering and 33% of architecture firms categorise themselves as an advanced or mature phase of their digital transformation journey, but 38% confirmed that they were still exploring the possibilities.
According to the research, technology could be pivotal in understanding businesses, making informed decisions based on real-time insights, and tracking and measuring KPIs effectively in the upcoming year.
Deltek surveyed 329 decision-makers from architecture and engineering firms with 25 or more employees about opportunities and challenges, technology trends, monitoring of key performance indicators, corporate strategies and governance and business development.
The self-completion online survey was completed between February and March 2023 by senior decision makers such as CEOs, C-suite, and heads of departments such as Finance, Operations, Delivery or Projects.