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Paper w78-2011-Paper-130:
Digital Services for Construction Small and Medium Enterprises: A Conceptual Business Model

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G Kapogiannis, F Khosrowshahi, J Underwood

Digital Services for Construction Small and Medium Enterprises: A Conceptual Business Model

Abstract: The rapid deployment of web technologies delivers information from diverse sources in the world of digital business in a unified way. Within the construction industry the demand for investments in the digital dimension has raised very fast indicating a trend towards on-line collaboration services usually offered through a web portal. The main purpose of this research is to examine how the use of a web portal enhances the mission of construction Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in the local, national and international economy. Therefore, features and services captured from existing construction web portals are listed quantitatively to indicate those that are important to support the enterprise needs of construction managers and directors. Additionally the common practical and essential features considered in the technical and contextual design of a web portal geared for the use within the domain of construction SMEs in order to promote enterprise continuity in digital business are briefly presented. Results indicate potential support of interaction and collaboration among partners in the construction industry due to direct information accessibility as well as an attractive web platform developed based upon their daily needs. Therefore the need to develop a web business model is suggested to enhance the role of construction SMEs with a focus on online collaboration (online services). This model aspires to provide potential practical on-line dissemination of knowledge within construction SMEs to help the world of construction managers and directors in order for them to be more efficient, effective and creative when developing new businesses, new ideas and new projects. This model is partitioned to accommodate for flexible and scalable technological infrastructures that offer the necessary web services addressed to construction SMEs.

Keywords: Construction SME, Web Portal Technologies, Web Services, Virtual Organisation, Communication

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