Digital library of construction informatics
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Paper w78-1997-399:
Information technology foresight:the future application of theworld wide web in construction

Facilitated by the SciX project

Walker D H T, Betts M

Information technology foresight:the future application of theworld wide web in construction

Abstract: Information technology (IT) is fundamentally changing global construction business. TheInternet, and more specifically the World Wide Web (WWW) will be key to this change.Forecasting technological change is notoriously difficult. This is becoming furtherexacerbated by the increasingly evident cycles of over-hype and disillusionment that newtechnologies and management paradigms face.Science policy research has developed innovative forecasting methods to deal with such aproblem. Key within these is the use of scenarios to describe the integrative effects ofdevelopments in parallel technologies and their socio-economic context.This paper contains a detailed scenario of the way the WWW may be used in globalconstruction in the year 2001. Analysis of the scenario causes key questions to be askedregarding the impact of technology development in construction. These questions are inneed of urgent, serious consideration by: governments, senior construction executives,educators, students, researchers, recruiters, and new entrants to the industry.The answers to these questions will help shape a key component of the research andinnovation agenda for construction for what is left of this millennium.

Keywords: Technology Foresight, Construction IT, Internet, World Wide Web.


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