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Paper w78-2010-1:
Collaborative Environments and its Effects on Construction Companies: The Current Context

Facilitated by the SciX project

Aisha Abuelmaatti, Vian Ahmed

Collaborative Environments and its Effects on Construction Companies: The Current Context

Abstract: The ability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve and enhance organisation’ productivity as well as their competitive situation has never been greater. Emerging technologies in the UK offer the construction industry many opportunities for computer supported collaborative environments, with regards to addressing some of the aspects that result in a complicated and complex construction process. However, the organisations adopting these technologies usually fail in achieving the full benefits from their implementations. Previous studies in the area have shown that 80 to 90 per cent of ICT investment did not meet their performance objectives. The fact of the matter is that collaborative environments have been evolving and effectively employed in large organisations and are believed to have high potential for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but the use of collaboration technology remains low among 99% of enterprises in the UK construction industry usually referred to as SMEs employing less than 250 employees. The growing popularity of collaborative environments in the construction industry has, unfortunately, not been matched by parallel empirical research for SMEs.The work reported in this paper serves two purposes. First, the results of an intensive literature review reveals general causes of failure in ICT implementations, and the key areas to focus on during ICT implementation for collaborative working. Second, results from exploratory case study that was conducted in order to assess the use of collaborative environments and their adaptation approaches are analysed in order to further explain what issues are preventing SMEs from achieving their utmost collaboration potential. Therefore, the paper blends a combination of factors which may affect the success of collaborative environments for SMEs and are believed to contribute towards the improvement and implementation of collaboration systems.

Keywords: Construction, ICT standards, re-engineering

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