10 July 2020


Tech de India!



Despite the slowdown in the economy – and the current brakes on project implementation – construction and infrastructure firms are increasingly relying on project management software tools to reduce cost and time overruns, and to maximise the life cycle of the product to be delivered. A CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES report



The Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector is a huge industry globally – it is the backbone of several economies and countries and represents a little over  20 per cent of the global market for technical software. At current estimates the worldwide architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) applications software market is approximately pegged at over $4 billion.  This comprises design software, GIS and business productivity software such as scheduling and construction management. From process plants to car factories, from bridges to underground transportation to cricket stadia, the AEC industry provides many opportunities for technical software vendors. That said they also present many challenges in terms of careful targeting of solutions to meet very demanding sector-specific requirements.


While the industry in the emerging economies like India has shown a very guarded growth lately owing to worldwide economic slowdown the various players in the AEC market are expected to raise their profile significantly in India with an expected increase in construction activities and infrastructure spending with a new government in place. Many Indian companies and Indian arms of foreign firms such as Bentley Systems, Rolta, Tekla, Autodesk, CAC, Ramco Systems, Micromen Software Solutions Pvt Ltd and Nadhi Information Technologies Pvt Ltd.,are finding increasing acceptance of their products among infrastructure providers in India and taking measures to cater to the demands of the infrastructure sector in India. This accounts for the amplifying portfolio of applications in building, plant, civil engineering, and geospatial engineering. The infrastructure development companies can have their pick from a wide range of software applications available for a range of operations like design, building, operation, and maintenance.


Economic slowdown notwithstanding increasing application of software solutions in construction and infrastructure is inevitable. The projects that are being done have technical challenges and complexities embedded in them. We are therefore seeing increased traction and interest from almost every major construction house in India who wants to replace their home-grown or stand-alone software investments with world-class products.


Underlining the importance of these software solutions suppliers is the fact that development is inevitable. IT solutions play a huge role in the timely and on-budget completion of projects as well as for the high level of expertise required in operation and maintenance of the grade of infrastructure that will put India on par with the best of the world. Most mega projects often have aggressive construction schedules, forcing those involved with developing infrastructure and real estate properties to look for means to achieve greater efficiency in time and materials, and greater accuracy in the information associated with the visual data assets of any structure. Ergo, India is a fast-growing market for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) and geospatial software. To sustain economic growth which currently has gone down, the country needs to rapidly improve basic infrastructure and cultivate high-level expertise in operating and servicing that infrastructure,” says Bengaluru based software analyst, Srivatsa S Kumar, “To meet the needs of India's cities state-of-the-art information technology to plan for the entire infrastructure lifecycle, from design to engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance is required. That technology is critically important to completing high-quality projects on time and on budget. That is why the importance of software solutions cannot be understated.


There is a growing body of evidence to show software design and analysis tools are being widely used in the country in infrastructure projects such as airports, special economic zones, power, oil and gas, railways, highways and construction. In order to execute Mega EPC projects on fast track, software solutions play a major role. They helps in reliable and on demand availability of information, improving visibility and spotting of problems at early stage.


Information Technology helps in all phases of Project Life cycle from Design and Engineering through Procurement to Construction and Operation. There are several software solutions for the construction industry. Some are suites, incorporating solutions for many parameters, like bidding, equipment maintenance, cost monitoring, nge orders and invoicing. Others are task-specific and have to be clubbed with other solutions for total software management. These solutions vary in terms of complexity, and users have to decide on one or another based on their needs and requirements. The firms offering these software and applications are competing with one another to provide a host of features with significant advantages to the end users. This includes: intraoperability and interoperability, collaboration solutions for distributed enterprises, innovative licensing, training, and learning geared to the demands of today's infrastructure organisation, and solutions built around specific infrastructure assets. Together, these provide the users with better performing projects and assets, and a significant return on their investments in the technology.  Apart  from this construction firms are increasingly realising that investing large amounts of money in projects is not a practical approach unless it is supplemented with technology which enhances productivity while bringing down costs. In that sense the cost of the software – which on the face of it seems prohibitive - pales in comparison to the savings in time and materials in the design and construction phases alone. Software solutions to address infrastructure and construction issues are seen as having good ROI.


The transition to new methodologies is evident from the changes taking place in the Indian infrastructure scene with the development of world class airports, highways, metro rail projects, new airports, high-tech offices and commercial buildings. With all the techvantage in place it is easy to see that in time to come the face of modern India can only improve further.

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