New research from Deltek, a global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, reveals that the nation’s architecture and engineering (A&E) firms say data-rich technologies including data science, big data and machine learning, are most important to their business. The increasing urgency to process data could either indicate growth in data maturity as businesses roll out their digital transformation, or show that operational shortcoming during the pandemic have revealed a need for greater enterprise visibility.

The research, which comes from the Deltek Clarity Architecture and Engineering Industry report, found that:

However, despite firms seeing the value in a suite of emerging technologies, only around a third of UK A&E firms are applying big data and no more than four in 10 are applying data science today.

Deltek identified cost of technology (60%) as the standout barrier to adoption for UK firms. A lack of strategic technology understanding is a clear issue in this market: 52% of firms have difficulty prioritising applicable technologies and 43% cite lack of employee education about trends and how they apply to the industry as major barriers.

To overcome these challenges, Deltek says businesses must recalibrate to boost performance. To do this, UK A&E firms are planning to develop strategic implementation plans and a budget for strategic investment. However, the UK is also far more likely than the total sample to be identifying technology partners (49% v 40%).

Commenting on the research findings, Neil Davidson, Regional Vice President of EMEA & APAC at Deltek, said “The UK is leading the way when it comes to digital transformation maturity: 10% of firms describe themselves as ‘Advanced’ compared with just 4% of the total sample. In five years, 49% expect to be Advanced. However, the results show still a heavy reliance on spreadsheets and relatively low adoption of emerging technologies. This shows there is great upside potential from accelerating transformation, and more data-driven business management.”