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The Spanish Government will mobilize 140,000 million in five years to digitize the economy

The construction industry is one of the most important in the world. It represents 13% of world GDP and is essential for the well-being of millions of people. In the United States, the industry has more than 680,000 employers and 7 million employees who generate nearly $ 1.3 trillion a year. In Europe, construction generates 20 million jobs.

Even before COVID-19, the industry was beginning to show concern about innovation, energy efficiency, and climate change, but the pandemic has forced us to change the way we interact. The industry and the entire world are facing an unknown post-pandemic scenario. A world full of changes that can also bring some opportunities.

From a survey carried out by BIMobject, it is concluded that 52% of professionals in the sector comment that their work has become much more digital since COVID-19.

For this reason, the Spanish Government will mobilize 140,000 million of public-private investment in the digitization of Spain during the next five years. This is the figure to which it has committed during the presentation last month of the Digital Spain Plan 2025. With the intention of reactivating the economy after the slowdown caused by the coronavirus crisis, it will mobilize only in the digital sphere, the Government's plans pass for investing between 2020-2022 around 20,000 million euros, of which 15,000 would come from the European fund. An enormous sum with which the Executive wants to mobilize some 50,000 million euros in the private sector.

Why is the digitization of the construction sector so important?

One would be the plans of a construction project, which were previously done by hand while now they are made with computer programs. Digitization implies that all data is in digital format. From the topographic survey of a work, to its execution and follow-up. All this information, whose original format is very diverse (topographic surveys, annotations on site, etc ...) has to be converted into a unified digital format. And for this, we have to make use of different technologies. In addition, the IoT could be highlighted for the massive collection of data, and consequently, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence for the analysis and use of them.

The digital transformation in the business ecosystem affects all levels. From corporate communication through multi-device and multi-channel tools that allow chatting, calls and video calls, sharing files or scheduling and holding meetings, through administration departments, where a large number of previously manual processes are carried out. replaced by automated processes through the use of management software (ERP), or even BI (Business Intelligence) tools to help managers make decisions in seconds based on objective data.

Are we prepared as a country for this change?

If we go to the data referring to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI #DESIeu), we could say that we have capacity, since we are ranked 11th out of the 28 countries of the European Union in digital public services and fifth in terms of connectivity. However, the low grade when we refer to human capital, that digital talent so necessary not only to tackle ICT transformation projects, but also to change the culture of innovation and business models to other more digital ones.

Font: European Commision 2020

Font: European Commision 2020

If we have to evaluate this report as the most worrying factor of all those analyzed, it is precisely this, since in some way it advances what may happen in the coming years with the digital competitiveness of our country. In other sub-factors such as IT Integration or adaptive attitudes we are in the middle of the table (positions 30 and 35 respectively) and in some parameters such as electronic government we are not badly positioned but compared to the previous year we have dropped 5 positions.

But it is not our worst data, we are in position 48 in business agility and the cause can be two fundamental variables: the scarce use of big data and data analytics (position 61), the lack of knowledge transfer, or fear to the failure of our entrepreneurs. 

The only light in this section is thrown by our robotics companies, as was the case in the first of the factors in the report, giving clues to what could be one of the pillars of the recovery of our economy, and of our industries.

As a summary of the report, if we really want to seize the opportunity presented to us to really transform our economy, we must focus on:

  • Build our digital talent base and strengthen the knowledge infrastructure necessary to develop and employ technology.
  • Provide an effective regulatory framework that allows the development and introduction of technologies, as well as the generation of patents and high-tech exports. 
  • Combine the individual adaptability of the new workforce - increasingly digital - with the agility of business and the economy.

If you want to see the full report of IMD Ranking of Digital Competitiveness.

“Don't let them tell you that everything is more difficult. Accept that now it is different ”Bernardo Crespo DIVISADERO.