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Ask the experts: technology challenges, adoption, and trends

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team

Technology is transforming the way we plan, build, and operate construction projects. Most AEC firms recognize the need to implement new technologies but with so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to begin. We recently sat down with two of our AEC industry consultants, Rainier Gonzalez and Diego Nieto Tomillo, to shed some light on this topic and kick off our "Ask the experts" blog series.

Let’s begin with a little background on each of our experts:

  • Rainier (Reny) Gonzalez

    Rainier (Reny) Gonzalez,
    AEC Consulting Leader, North America

    Reny is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Florida State University and has 10 years experience as an engineer. His areas of expertise include public works, aviation, and roadway, in both the design and construction spaces. He is passionate about project management and data visualisation. He enjoys using these skills, along with MTWO’s flexibility and range of applications, to deliver solutions for our clients and help solve many of the problems plaguing the construction industry today. Reny’s hobbies include running and boxing.

  • Diego Nieto Tomillo

    Diego Nieto Tomillo,
    AEC Consulting Director, EMEA

    Diego is based in Madrid, Spain. He is a Civil Engineer and holds an Executive MBA and P.S. in Strategic Project Management from the IE Business School. He is also a PMP and a member of the Honor Society of International Business Schools Beta Gamma Sigma. Diego has more than 15 years industry experience, including extensive project management experience, with top international construction and consulting companies such as Ferrovial Construction and Drees & Sommer. He also served as an Associate Professor at the European University of Madrid, lending his expertise in project management and BIM methodology to postgraduate students. He is passionate about technology and innovation and loves helping AEC firms in their digital transformation. Diego enjoys rugby, growing bonsais, trekking, and spending time with his kids.

Q&A with our experts

We asked Reny and Diego about challenges and trends they’re seeing in the industry as well as advice they have for AEC firms in different stages of technology implementation. Here’s what they had to say.

What are some of the biggest technology challenges you’re seeing from the AEC businesses you work with?

Reny: One of the biggest challenges I’m seeing is getting businesses to make that initial transition from not using any construction software to beginning to implement technology solutions. I would say about half of the businesses I’m working with are in this position. They haven’t used construction technology before and are still using Excel for most of their needs.

In a lot of cases I see push back within the organisation. They’re used to doing things the way they’ve always done them and are resistant to change because change can be hard. There’s usually one faction that is eager to adopt new technology, but it takes time to convince all stakeholders and get everyone on the same page.

Once they agree to make a change, time can often be another barrier. They want to know how long it’s going to take and often don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to implementation and training. It’s a bit of a catch-22. Once they implement the technology, they can benefit from huge time savings, but they can’t get there without making that initial time investment.

Diego: Data silos are a big challenge that many businesses are struggling to overcome. When businesses use disparate, unintegrated tools data is held in separate systems by different teams and so time is wasted transferring this data between different systems. Manually transferring data is also an error prone process that can open a business up to unnecessary risk.

Data silos lead to inadequate communication, disaggregated workflows, and a lack of digitalisation. This hinders not just the collaborative effort of teams but also slows the operation, and this has become one of the root reasons for stagnant productivity in our industry.

These challenges create a lack of visibility into business performance. Without this insight, businesses can’t identify what’s not working in order to make changes and improve performance. This also slows the decision-making process. Most construction projects today run in a reactive nature because they don't have that real-time data needed to be proactive.

What advice do you have for businesses who are just getting started in implementing technology?

Diego: Technology can bring tremendous value, but only if it is aligned with business needs. It is also important to keep in mind that successful technology implementation is dependent on adoption and change management. The new technology must be linked to business vision, strategy, and leadership and adequate time needs to be set aside for implementation and training.

It is critical to consider the impact the implementation will have on your people. Consider the transition they will have to go through and what the desired outcome is. Prioritising technology deployment over user adoption is one of the main reasons that digital transformations fail.

Another piece of advice is to be realistic about your expectations and goals. It’s not as simple as waving a magic wand. If you’re overly optimistic and set unmanageable goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even begin.

Reny: It’s important to be open to change and be willing to talk about what you need. It helps to be introspective and honest as an organisation as to what’s working and what needs improvement. If something is not efficient and there might be a better way to do it, find the better way. Change isn’t always easy, but you can’t grow without change. Really dig into the process and give it the commitment it deserves. You can ease into it by starting with modules that can have the biggest impact quickly. It’s essential that the solution can be configured to meet your individual needs.

What advice do you have for businesses who have been utilising technology but haven’t seen significant benefits?

Reny: Technology is not a one size fits all solution. A point solution may work for some businesses but for those with larger challenges, it’s just putting a band-aid on the problem. Simply buying new software isn’t enough. You won’t see meaningful benefits unless you put in the time and effort to make it work for you. Another piece of that is ensuring that your solutions align with your business needs today as well as where you want your business to be in 10 years.

Diego: Technology alone cannot solve your problems. It is critical that solutions are aligned with business needs, so begin by analysing the business and its processes. Consider things such as business drivers, objectives, and requirements. It’s a common mistake to jump into technology implementation before completing this business analysis and a big reason why businesses don’t see benefits from technology.

It's important to be strategic and ready to adapt in order to stay current and ahead of the curve. In order for a digital transformation to be successful you need to address processes (adaptation), technology (adoption), and people (change management).

What trends are you seeing in AEC technology?

Diego: Technology will continue to move towards the cloud for its many benefits, including agility, scalability, and security. Integrated cloud platforms in particular can improve real-time decision making by connecting all data, people, and processes.

Other hot technology topics include BIM, digital twins, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse. As more of these technologies gain traction we are also seeing a desire for greener building practices, making sustainability another growing trend in the AEC space. Technology and sustainability go hand in hand as tech enables faster and more efficient building, resulting in less waste and rework.

Reny: Digital transformation is big right now. It’s a slow adoption but I’m seeing firms making progress and trending in that direction. I think for a lot of businesses, once they get their foot in the door and start seeing some of the benefits technology can deliver, they begin moving much more quickly on their path towards digital transformation.

We will continue to see more forward-thinking companies make technology a priority. These early adopters have long championed technology – many have innovation officers and other staff dedicated to finding and implementing the best solutions for their business. They embrace change and their agility enables them to stay ahead of the curve.


It can be easy for firms to either feel overwhelmed and delay technology implementation or feel pressured and adopt new technologies without a solid strategy behind it. While the growing number of technologies in the AEC space can be challenging to navigate, our consultants are here to help walk our clients through the entire process to ensure that their technology solutions address their individual business needs. Taking the time to implement the right solutions at the right pace helps AEC firms lay a strong digital foundation that will benefit them now and for years to come.

A big thank you to Reny and Diego for sharing their deep industry knowledge with us! If you have any questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like to see addressed in future columns, please reach out.


Digitally transform with MTWO Construction Cloud

MTWO is a construction enterprise cloud solution that connects all project stakeholders, processes, and data in one integrated platform. It delivers full project control, cost transparency, real-time intelligent data, and unparalleled collaboration and efficiency. MTWO empowers AEC firms to digitally transform their business while winning work, increasing efficiencies, mitigating risk, and reducing their environmental impact.

Digitally transform with MTWO Construction Cloud

MTWO is a construction enterprise cloud solution that connects all project stakeholders, processes, and data in one integrated platform. It delivers full project control, cost transparency, real-time intelligent data, and unparalleled collaboration and efficiency. MTWO empowers AEC firms to digitally transform their business while winning work, increasing efficiencies, mitigating risk, and reducing their environmental impact.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.