CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study
During the last two decades or so, there have been significant improvements in ICT. These developments took two main directions (Zorkoczy & Heap, 1995): the first one, in the development of products (devices, systems) and concepts (ideas, procedures) which have a wide relevance to information; the second, in the development of the application of these products and concepts to specific areas of activities. Computers have revolutionised the way documents are generated and stored. Similarly, ICT is bound to revolutionise the way the information and documents are exchanged. Today, ICT is an essential ingredient in research, technology, education and other societal endeavours. It includes the automated capturing of data and processing of information; large-scale networking; high-end computing; high-end computation and infrastructure; high-confidence software and systems; human-computer interaction and information management; as well as theoretical studies of the nature of information and the limits of computation. Advances in supercomputers, simulations and networks are creating a new window into the natural world, making high-end computational experimentation an essential tool for pathbreaking scientific discoveries. ICT is becoming a powerful force in the world. In this millennium, a radically different world will be seen, where information, and access to it, will be one of the most important economic and social indicators (Johnston, 2015). Due to its enormous and profound socioeconomic benefits, ICT has, seemingly in a few short years, become critical to a nation’s well-being and prosperity. ICT is also changing the way people live, work, learn and communicate with each other.
Competitive pressures force ICT adoption by many businesses and industries. As a result, industries have experienced significant productivity improvements as ICT has provided them with great advantages in speed of operation, consistency of data generation, accessibility and exchange of information. Construction is a traditional industry and conservative to adopt new technology unless the contribution of this technology is obvious (Li & Wang 2013), forced by clients or by regulations. The Architectural Engineering and Construction industry (AEC) has embraced ICT in order to benefit from these developments to gain or maintain a competitive advantage. Introduction of ICT in all aspects of the design and construction of facilities has been going for a few decades now.