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Current state of IT usage by Australian subcontractors

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The fragmented and highly competitive nature of the construction industry (CI) limits efficiencies and inhibits communication. However, through the effective use of information technology (IT), these communication barriers between clients, consultants, suppliers, subcontractors and contractors can be broken down. Public sector clients in Australia have proposed an IT implementation strategy with the aim of improving communication and increasing productivity in the CI. However, IT is relatively new to the industry and so are the problems associated with it especially for the small subcontractors. The aims of this paper are to examine the current usage of IT by Australian subcontractors, and to identify the potential problems for subcontractors in IT implementation. The results indicate that the uptake of email and the internet by subcontractors is at a low level and the awareness of IT training and education is very low. The indications are that Australian subcontractors are not yet ready for the implementation of even rudimentary IT technology.
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Keywords: communication; construction information technology; subcontractor

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hong Kong 2: Department of Building, University of Newcastle, Australia 3: Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales 4: Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Publication date: 01 March 2001

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