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Digital Technologies: Collaboration is Key

Aneesa Mulla, Head of Digital, Tilbury Douglas

Digital Technologies: Collaboration is Key Aneesa Mulla, Head of Digital, Tilbury Douglas

Aneesa Mulla explains why she believes collaboration is the key when it comes to meeting industry targets and sets out the best approach to choosing digital technologies to help achieve this:

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the construction sector that we can step up, evolve and modernise – when we need to. However, as an industry, we shouldn’t be forced to make these changes due to crises; we should be constantly looking for improvements and innovations.

It is time we challenge the mentality of ‘keeping things the way we’ve always done it’ to deliver projects in an efficient way in line with the government’s vision as laid out in its Construction Playbook.

The first step in this journey towards a better construction industry is collaboration. The most effective way to come together is to embrace digital technologies, as this will act as an enabler of collaboration and ultimately positive change.

When thinking about the adoption of new technology, there are three things that must be considered:


We’re all aware of the overcrowded IT landscape, the adoption of technology to tick a box or complex software that only suits a single purpose – which is why it is important to consider what technology we need to meet our objectives.

Otherwise, before we know it, we have an entire ecosystem of solutions with overlapping capabilities, that could fail to deliver.

Taking an outcomes-driven approach, focusing on the questions ‘which capabilities do I need, or which problem am I trying to solve?’ rather than ‘which tool?’ helps us uncomplicate technology, digital tools and software, as we instead focus on the challenges we are trying to address.


With an outcomes-driven approach to technology adoption, we can then consider how we can achieve those outcomes. This requires us to look at what data, and subsequently information, will help us. For example, what do we need to collate, what do we need to share? This will lead to more meaningful data and in turn more informed decision making.

We can also use a structured, data-driven feedback approach to assist with continuous improvement. This will help identify areas that may need to further develop, or changes required to our digital technologies.



Once the decision has been made as to which digital technologies best support your business to collaborate better, modernise and innovate, the final step in the process is ensuring we bring our users on the journey with us. This may require a major cultural shift, as we look to develop expertise and empower colleagues to embrace the technology where required—such as in the office, out on site or with our clients.

To properly enable the workforce, a communications and training programme will need to be delivered. It is key to ensure there is technical support available, if required, to assist with any issues that users may encounter.

Ability to Pre-Empt Not Just React

The adoption of digital technologies should first address your business objectives, whether they be project specific, organisational or industry wide. This will change our approach to technology, and data, and the management of information, leading to the creation of smarter systems and solutions which can assist with industry-wide collaboration. This will also result in a reduction in waste, improved efficiencies and informed decision making based on the ability to pre-empt issues not just react to them.

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