Each year, Deltek surveys leaders in the Architecture and Engineering (A&E) industry to identify benchmarks, trends and market outlook to help businesses identify their strengths and opportunities for improvement. This year, Deltek is launching the 41st Annual Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Report for North America, and for the first time, an additional global perspective to monitor the same trends and benchmarks throughout the EMEA and APAC regions.
Regardless of location, A&E firms are facing the same challenges across the business. Finding time to nurture client relationships, competing priorities for project managers and increasing profitability are the top challenges identified in North America, EMEA and APAC while the strategies for addressing these challenges vary by region.
One of the key focus areas for the Deltek Clarity A&E Industry Report is how technology trends are impacting the industry. Emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and geolocation, are becoming increasingly important to A&E firms globally. In North America, the top three trends most important for firms are IoT, geolocation and augmented/virtual reality. In EMEA and APAC, the top three trends are similar with IoT, geolocation and big data rising to the top of the list.
Examining the various regions shows firms are addressing their challenges with emerging technologies in different ways. While EMEA and APAC firms are putting people at the heart of addressing technology challenges, North American firms are focused on the strategic and process side of the equation. EMEA and APAC firms noted that identifying and developing technology subject matter experts, hiring staff or acquiring a company with necessary expertise and identifying a champion to lead the initiatives are the top strategies for firms.
In North America, A&E firms are focused on developing strategic plans for implementing technology trends, educating staff on trends and developing a budget for strategic investment. There is no right or wrong answer in strategy, but what's important is that firms take these challenges and develop action plans to better incorporate emerging technologies into their businesses.
When setting targets for the business, it's critical to evaluate if a firm's targets are realistic - are targets too low or are expectations too high? The Deltek Clarity report delivers insight into numerous Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are common in the industry such as projects on budget, utilisation rate, operating profit, employee turnover rates and many more to enable firms to benchmark their business performance against other companies like theirs.
With the industry in flux, monitoring KPIs is more important than ever. Companies can use the benchmarks as a starting point to set more realistic targets, but then set up their solutions and processes to monitor the business consistently and frequently. If a company is global, it can now compare some of these key metrics to others within the same geography to ensure the targets are aligned regionally.
While the numbers themselves are a snapshot in time, this resource helps companies establish a realistic starting point, identify which KPIs they should be monitoring and empowers firms to do something about their business. What the number says is only a piece of the story. Using the KPIs, as well as the top challenges companies are facing, as a conversation starter with other leaders within the business, can help uncover underlying challenges or strengths.
It's also an opportunity to determine if technology is supporting the business or is creating more barriers. Some companies have the tools they need, but outdated processes are holding them back while other companies are still managing their business and monitoring their KPIs on spreadsheets and outdated systems.
As more firms explore digital transformation, they face challenges with not only the technology, but outdated processes. When looking at what the top firms are facing, processes and technology are at the core of nearly every challenge. A&E firms around the world are struggling with project managers having competing priorities. Firms are looking to address these challenges through more clearly defined responsibilities and better processes or best practices. Business developers are struggling to find time to nurture client relationships and the top challenge is the same across regions. Financial managers are looking for ways to better manage profitability while firms continue to struggle finding and retaining employees.
By looking at some of the key trends and challenges facing A&E companies around the world, firms can start to take a closer look at their own processes and their own technology to better understand where there are opportunities to up-level their technology, expedite their journey to digital transformation and streamline processes to make their business more efficient and effective.
The Deltek Clarity report is a catalyst for meaningful conversations with leadership teams, management and employees, to help them uncover the barriers to success, identify areas for improvement and ensure alignment of initiatives across the business. The full reports will give firms greater insight into business and pinpoint where there is room for improvement. Deltek can help a firm's digital transformation through technology and process improvement so it can move its business forward. It's time to bring clarity to the conversation and take action to power project success.
For more information, download the Architecture & Engineering Industry report here.