Monday, March 23, 2015

New Users and the Consolidation of BIM Systems - Part One

Whew! It's good to be back. 

After a somewhat lengthy hiatus of writing the second version of "BIM and Construction Management," I'm glad to be back on top of this blog/stream of consciousness that is writing what's in Brad's brain.

So here's what's new. Aside from joining a global engineering and construction firm at Black and Veatch, we are back in Kansas City (go Royals!) and am back home.

It's spring and on the BIM front , I wanted to share some of the new and forward thinking tenets of where I believe the AEC industry is headed and what we can do to align and improve how we work.

In a recent article from Accenture titled, "Digital Ecosystems" they do a really nice job of capturing where technology trends and analytics is headed in the coming years. I particularly agree with the concept of the "Intelligent Enterprise: Huge data + smarter systems = better business"

Here's the pitch. I believe BIM is now in between the early and late majority stage of the technology adoption curve. We talk about this in the new version of the book, but what does it mean?

Does this mean that BIM is no longer innovative? Not at all.
Am I behind if I haven't adopted BIM? Sure.

I've already adopted BIM in my firm, I'm safe right? Nope.

Here's the thing with the mid to late stage adopter types. They are highly analytical, they look to maximize the value of the shift (aka squeeze every ounce of value out of it) and ask some really good questions as they work in the tool. In essence, they are more patient than early adopters or innovators (generally speaking) and in lieu of "first to market" take a "best to market" approach with new tools.

How will this impact our industry?

1.) I believe we are going to see a consolidation of tool sets that seek to maximize the value out of each. 

2.) In addition to this, we are going to see a renewed vigor and focus on integration of tools between each other and a demand for not only connectivity, but hyper-connectivity. Keep in mind, these are the rational "doers" the folks who get it done and they don't have the patience to wait for systems to connect either. 

3.) Which leads me to my third prediction that we will see a spike in what I'm calling "gap apps." 

These applications will utilize the API's in the existing large scale tools and will be developed with the sole purpose of better connectivity or workflow automation. I don't know how many of these puppies there will be, but I can tell you it will create a very interesting dynamic in our industry.

Personally, I'm stoked about this new kind of user. I think now that we have moved beyond the Hollywood BIM or early "BIM washing," we are really going to start digging in and taking a renewed look at what BIM could mean for design and construction, what the data could mean and how traditional deliverable constructs need to be challenged or disappear entirely.

More to come...