Maximising the benefits of digital technology in the construction sector

Joe O'Sullivan of Sisk will tell the DigiCon Summit he hopes clients – and in particular the government - will begin to demand digital delivery as standard

4th June, 2019
Joe O'Sullivan of Sisk

What's your name?

Joe O’ Sullivan

What’s your current job?

Regional Director (Life Sciences) with Sisk

How long have you held the position?

Three years

Can you describe your daily work routine?

I have two distinct roles: one role involves winning and delivering projects for Life Sciences customers; my second role as performance manager involves enhancing and measuring the performance of our project teams in delivering to our KPIs. Thankfully there is no “routine”.

What is your professional background?

I originally qualified as a teacher – in construction studies and woodwork - but quickly moved into construction, working initially as a civil engineer before moving into management. I spent a number of years in England, working in a variety of sectors – commercial, industrial, healthcare and leisure (hotels). I joined Sisk in 1993, during my time in England, and moved back to Ireland in 1997. Since then I have worked in the Life Sciences sector, both on major new build projects and on a variety of smaller retro-fit projects.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I enjoy the great outdoors and spend most weekends in Castletownbere, West Cork.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I have a hobby farm with pedigree sheep.

You are speaking at the forthcoming 2019 DigiCon Summit in Croke Park, Dublin. What is the focus of your talk?

The current interpretation and level of uptake of 'Digital Project Delivery' across the construction sector, and the readiness of the sector and supply chain to maximise the benefits of digital technology.

What in your opinion are the key obstacles for innovation in the sector?

Perhaps a willingness to embrace new ideas and to take some risks are key challenges. Innovation involves ideas, and turning ideas into useful solutions – I think innovation is happening from a technical perspective. Technology can facilitate enhanced collaboration, but it’s the 'people' in the equation who are likely to be the obstacle. Contracting mechanisms, in particular the government form of contract, can promote adversarial approaches, whereas the requirements of the industry and the economy demand greater collaboration between parties engaged in a project.

How do you see the industry being changed by digital disruption over the coming decade?

I hope that clients – and in particular the government - will begin to demand digital delivery as standard. This will be a game-changer as it will force a much more rapid uptake of available technologies and will also create a market for better, more user-friendly technology.

CIF DigiCon 2019 takes place at Croke Park on June 13th. More details are available here

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