“Construction Lags Behind Other Sectors in IT Investment”

London – 2 December, 2004

Survey Shows Lack of Alignment Between IT and Business Strategy

Research released today by Atos Origin and Oracle Corporation has revealed that the UK construction industry spends about one third (35%) less on IT than other sectors of British industry. There is also a poor alignment between construction organisations' IT and business strategy according to 70% of IT Directors polled, with 20% saying that innovation was not important to their organisations. The survey of 50 senior decision makers in UK construction companies was undertaken by Vanson Bourne, in consultation with London Business School.

Overall, IT investment in the construction industry has only increased 0.7% in five years and the research shows that constructors, designers and building operators remain reluctant to become early adopters. This reluctance can deny them access to associated benefits such as added profit advantage and competitive differentiation.

Martin Webley, vice president, Enterprise, Atos Origin , said: “As the research shows the potential impact of effective and innovative IT investment has not been fully realised in the construction industry to date. As many other industries have done in the past, companies within the UK construction industry could improve their market position and achieve business goals more effectively through better management of and use of proven technology practices. Strategic and integrated IT investment can provide considerable benefits and is traditionally perceived as a key tool to delivering innovation and efficiency.”

Joe Etienne, Director of Commercial/Industrial business at Oracle commented: “Some construction organisations are starting to realise the benefits of adopting consistent IT and business processes, however our research shows a startling lack of alignment between their IT and business strategy. Clearly a greater alignment will also drive a better appreciation of how IT can help these companies innovate. It also appears that construction companies need to increase their understanding of how IT can help facilitate business improvement.”

Other research findings include:

  • 50% of UK construction companies said that their organisation was not open to change
  • Only 4% of respondents said that more effective use of IT is the most important way of achieving business goals, despite over 50% saying that cost reduction or business growth were top priorities for their company
  • 20% of companies within the UK construction industry have implemented

IT with the intention of keeping up with or outperforming their competitors
This survey echoes findings from research commissioned by Oracle this spring into the link between Innovation and IT, which showed that only 28% of UK companies link the adoption of new technology with their ability to innovate. In addition, a DTI Economics Paper [no.7] ‘Competing in the Global Economy – The Innovation Challenge', published in November 2003, found that out of 12 UK industries polled, the Construction sector, at 3%, scored lowest in having ‘some co-operation arrangements on innovation activities'.

Ends

The survey was compiled and carried out on behalf of Atos Origin and Oracle in May and June 2004 by Vanson Bourne in consultation with Jamie Anderson, programme director and lecturer in strategy and innovation within the centre for management development – London Business School. 50 senior decision makers of UK construction companies were interviewed – half of whom were senior financial officers and the other half were senior IT people.

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology (IT) services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are more than EUR 5 billion and it employs 45,000 people in 50 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and its clients include ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, Ericsson, EDF, Euronext, Fiat, France Telecom, ING, KPN, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank, Telecom Italia, UK Department for Work and Pensions, Unilever, Vivendi Universal and Vodafone.

Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Euronext Premier Marché and trades as Atos Origin, AtosEuronext, Atos Worldline, Atos Consulting.

About Oracle
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle visit our Web site at http://www.oracle.com.
Trademarks
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, please contact

Caroline Crouch
Atos Origin
Tel: +44 20 7830 4233
Email: caroline.crouch@atosorigin.com

Oracle Corporation
Tel: +44 1189 245186
Email: shelley.facius@oracle.com