Digital transformation is a hot topic across much of the government and its agencies. All aspects of the government – from federal agencies all the way to municipal government organizations – are facing budget cuts, hiring freezes and a lack of resources which are forcing decision makers to find new, more effective ways to accomplish the mission and serve constituents.
Many times, this lack of resources and having to do more with less has led to the adoption of new and innovative technologies – many of which are already being used widely and effectively across the private sector.
From cloud-driven AI solutions for responding to citizen requests, to AR/VA solutions for training and professional develop, government agencies are testing and exploring a wide range of innovative solutions to improve the enterprise. The concept being that if technology can be utilized to reduce the time human resources spend doing menial, repetitive tasks, then there’s more time for them to focus on bigger challenges and move their agency forward.
Simultaneously, new technologies that can help empower each individual by reducing errors, increasing transparency, improving collaboration and making everyone in the government more efficient and effective are also gaining traction.
At least…many of them are.
According to a recent FCW study sponsored by DLT and Autodesk, there is one time-saving, collaboration-increasing technology that could be helping the government operate more effectively that has yet to see the same level of adoption across the government as in the private sector – advanced building information modeling technologies (BIM).
BIM solutions are being widely utilized across the private sector for the design and modeling of construction projects. These solutions enable true 3D modeling and a slate of collaboration tools and capabilities that can deliver a number of benefits to government entities that are responsible for the construction of facilities and public works projects.
For example, BIM solutions empower previous conditions modeling and 3D modeling that can be used to identify any roadblocks to a construction project in advance and immediately implement changes to a design to accommodate them. BIM also enables for increased collaboration and the sharing of data, which helps to reduce version control issues, fight against errors and drastically decrease rework.
However, despite these benefits that can make government employees massively more productive, the study by FCW shows that approximately 80 percent of the government influencers polled say they either have no plans to implement BIM in the organization, or that they’ve only begun implementing BIM in a limited capacity. It’s important to note that not all government organizations and agencies have eschewed BIM solutions – the report identifies both the General Services Agency (GSA) and the State of Ohio as two organizations that have fully embraced the technology. However, there are still many federal and state and local organizations that have yet to jump on board.
Interestingly, when presented with individual capabilities and benefits that BIM solutions could deliver, respondents seemed extremely interested – with more than 70 percent of respondents saying they’d be important within their organization. However, when asked if they were implementing or planning to implement BIM as a whole, far fewer respondents answered in the affirmative. The report explains that this could be a result of cultural resistance or simply not knowing how to make a BIM implementation happen.
BIM solutions have the ability to make projects – from public works projects to new construction projects – run more smoothly by reducing rework, eliminating surprises in the field and enabling a more collaborative process with more information sharing. With limited resources and tight budgets, BIM solutions could become mission-critical tools that help organizations at all levels of government operate more effectively and efficiently. Agencies and government organizations at all levels need to look at the benefits that BIM is delivering to the private sector and international governments and begin to adopt this technology to enable a more effective and efficient future.