An investigation of the implications of COVID-19 for digitalisation in the Malaysian construction industry

Sylvia Siok Hung Lee, Cheng Siew Goh*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The construction industry has a reputation for being the least digitalised industry and the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic have further accelerated the move of digitalisation in the construction practices. However, there is still a lack of studies to examine the extent of digitalisation brought by the pandemic. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the implementation status of various digital technologies in the Malaysian construction industry during and after COVID-19. This paper also examines if the COVID-19 has created a sense of urgency around digital transformation in the Malaysian construction industry. A questionnaire survey was carried out with 95 respondents from different construction professions. The results showed that COVID-19 has significantly boosted digital practices among Malaysian construction firms but there is a disproportionate adoption in rural areas as well as small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), further widening the digital divide in Malaysia. The findings suggest that the adoption of cloud computing, mobile computing and building information modelling (BIM) is accelerated significantly after COVID. The findings showed that the digitalisation awareness and the implementation of various digital tools in the Malaysian construction industry have been generally increased, showing a readiness of the construction industry in transition to digitalisation. However, more efforts are needed to bridge the digital divide to ensure no one will be marginalised in the future digital initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2507-2520
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Engineering Science and Technology
Volume18
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023

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