Technology is just a tool used to assist in estimating construction costs and it cannot replace the professional cost engineering knowledge or judgment

Technology is just a tool used to assist in estimating construction costs and it cannot replace the professional cost engineering knowledge or judgment. The cost engineers should know the capabilities and limitations of software in relation to a project. They must be aware of how to use technology models in adapting existing estimates to new projects. Final data and results should be reviewed for reasonableness and assumptions and methodology should be verified and documented. Although using Information Technology in cost estimation in construction industry has positive impact, there are some drawbacks and they are the following:
1. Implementation expenses
Investing in IT solutions for cost estimating is not cheap. Cost estimation software are expensive and not all construction companies can afford it. The construction company will need the budget for purchasing software licenses, software training, maintenance and support.
2. Security Breaches
Although, the storage of historical cost data on remote cloud servers is one of the powerful feature of software, some construction companies store their cost estimation data which are vulnerable for hackers or viruses’ attacks. (Thus) Accordingly, those attacks may lead to lose or manipulate company’s data.
3. Needs time
Cost estimators need time to learn how to use IT solution and adopt the new skill. Construction companies might face some resistance when shifting from using traditional methods to software solutions for cost estimation. Therefore, pilot run and training on new software should be planned properly.
4. Out of Date and limitations of IT solution
Nowadays, Technology moves fast in every industry and construction industry is not an exception. The construction companies will need to get regular updates to their software or looking for new IT solutions with more or advanced features. They have to be aware (of) and study new trends in market for IT solutions in construction cost estimation.
5. Subjectivity
The cost estimation process is slightly subjective. Even with algorithmic methods and IT software, it usually up to cost estimators to calculate certain cost estimate and use their judgements to assign and assess cost values.
6. Selecting the right IT solution
There are many software in the market and a construction company needs to select from options in the market the software that fulfills their requirements of cost estimation and supports its business. Therefore, it is critical to choose the suitable software before investing money on it.