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Small construction businesses will continue to lag other sectors in tech spending this year

Building Technology

Small construction businesses will continue to lag other sectors in tech spending this year

A survey of 800 companies found tepid interest overall in investing in “big data.” 

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | March 1, 2018

Small construction companies are less willing to spend on technology than companies in several other business sectors, including retailing, manufacturing, and real estate. Image: Pixabay

Nearly three fifths of respondents to recent poll of 800 small businesses operating in 17 sectors plan to invest this year in technologies that would improve their companies’ productivity.

Nearly half intend to invest in mobile technologies that could help them increase market share or cement customer relationships. And close to half of those polled say they’ll invest this year in cybersecurity tools to protect their data.

However, this poll—conducted by Kabbage (www.kabbage.com), a global financial services, technology, and data platform for small businesses—reveals less enthusiasm for tech spending among the construction small businesses.

The good news is that more than half of the 80 construction-related small businesses that responded to the poll plan to invest in technologies that would remove manual processes, reduce paperwork, or improve productivity. But fewer than two-fifths of construction companies that responded to the question about cybersecurity spending said they were “somewhat likely” or “definitely will invest.” Just over one third said they’d invest in mobile technology.

Only one third of construction busineses says they are willing to increase their ad spending by at least 20% on social media, compared to nearly half of all respondents.

None of the small businesses from any sector participating in this survey was too keen on spending for real-time analytics or big data solutions. Less than one-quarter—23.45%—of the construction companies were somewhat likely or definite about making such an investment this year. Only 28% of all respondents thought big data was worth in vesting  in; in fact, marketing agencies and services was the only business sector where more than 40% of its respondents answered affirmatively to this question.

The survey also asked small businesses about their attitudes on economic conditions, and the construction respondents were among the most positive. More than 69% of construction companies somewhat or strongly agreed that the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction. That compares to 63.5% of the total survey’s respondents. Marketing agencies were the most buoyant about the economy (73.3%); law office and legal service small business the least optimistic (36.4%).

Seventy-seven percent of the construction companies expected their revenues to increase by more than 20% this year, compared to 73% of the total respondents. Insurance services, manufacturing, marketing agencies, and real estate companies expressed the highest confidence about revenue growth.

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