The Road to $1.6 Trillion: How Technology Could Add Billions to Your Firm Fast

Digital transformation is the latest buzzword in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. It’s hard to imagine the industry as a whole could still be tech adverse with every firm talking about the need and excitement surrounding technology. But, when you look at the numbers, what stands out is the continued optimism for a technology driven future, paired with the fear and uncertainty of what adopting that technology would mean for firms. 

The AEC industry remains one of the world’s least digitized sectors – and for good reasons. This industry is built on relationships – something traditional technology has a hard time understanding. When a typical project requires involvement from planners, designers, builders, subcontractors, suppliers…that leaves very little incentive to embrace new methods of technology and risk something getting lost in the madness. 

Beyond that, AEC firms claim they do not have the support, the budget, or the knowledge required to support technology adoptions, further perpetuating the idea that technology is not a priority for the sector as a whole. 

Our team wanted to get to the bottom of this puzzle, so we took the time to put together some research performed by McKinsey & Company, Racounteur, and KMPG to see what the Current State of Technology Adoption in the AEC landscape really looked like. Download the full infographic here to uncover the findings. 

Winning Back the Opportunities Lost 

One of the highlights of this research found that while the industry is nervous to embrace technologies, the entire sector still believes adapting to digital ways is the only way to have a lasting future as a firm. This was backed by the discovery of just how far behind the industry really is.

McKinsey research deduced that while construction-related spending accounts for 13% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the industry’s annual productivity has only increased by 1% over the last 20 years. To put that in perspective, productivity for the total world economy increased 2.8% and 3.6% in manufacturing alone in the same time frame.

You might be wondering why this matters. Your firm is already profitable – so why increase productivity at all? 

Turns out – there’s a whopping $1.6 Trillion in opportunities being left on the table due to this aversion to increasing productivity. What would it mean for your firm to go after a piece of that trillion dollar pie?

Crossing the Chasm 

There’s a rising number of AEC firms overcoming the challenge of adopting new technology and seeing wild success in terms of efficiencies, new insights, and competitive advantages. From the buzz worthy Virtual Reality Proposal technologies, to the less sexy Data Analytics & Proposal Generation tools, the industry is curious to know what else they could be doing to set themselves apart. 

McKinsey assessed AEC companies who are embracing technology and noticed that the firms  successful in their adoption were following these five practices: 

  • Focus on fixing pain points, not installing IT solutions 
  • Implement digital use cases that promote collaboration 
  • Reskill and restructure teams 
  • Adjust project baselines to capture value 
  • Connect products to unlock impact across the firm 


At Cosential, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of how successful a firm is at adopting a tool like our Growth and Relationship Management (GRM) platform. In fact, on February 19th, at 11:00 am, we’re hosting a live presentation that talks to the Five Secrets of a Successful Implementation. We’ve also seen the magic that happens once a firm crosses the finish line and has fully adopted the philosophy and system of a GRM. 

Check out the full infographic here that highlights the Current State of Technology in the AEC industry, why the industry is so far behind, and what adopting digital tools could mean for your firm. 

If you’d like to see Cosential GRM in action, schedule a demo with us today.