Driving digital innovation: 6 steps to get company leaders on board  

18 July 2019:

Structure Tone, a global construction management firm, was family owned for 40 years. In 2016, however, the family shifted ownership to employees and a consortium of outside investors. Since then, the firm has conducted mergers with three companies. By early 2019, the firm had grown from $4 billion to $6 billion and rebranded as STO Building Group, and the reconfigured board and leadership team had to integrate these mergers and establish the three-year strategy for the larger, even more diverse company.

Some questions facing the board: How do we respond to the fact that our customers are becoming more sophisticated in their requirements for collaboration, data, and security? How can we demonstrate that we are innovative and out in front of our clients?

“It became clear that technology would be the differentiator for us,” says CIO Terry Robbins, “and that we had to operate in a collaborative way that mirrors how our clients work on a daily basis.”


STO’s clients, covering a wide array of sectors, including financial services, education, healthcare, and mission-critical service providers, have been innovating in their ability to collaborate seamlessly with their partners for years. That sophisticated and seamless collaboration capability is what they are looking for in their construction management partners.

Construction sector joins the digital revolution
For STO, the goal of technology innovation is more revolutionary than evolutionary because the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has been slow on new technology adoption in general.

“The AEC industry missed the internet revolution because ecommerce wasn’t really applicable to us,” says Robbins. “But the current revolution of drones, IoT [internet of things], 3D modeling, and virtual reality is highly applicable. The emerging technology market is exploding, and we are seeing angel and venture capital investors investing billions of dollars in supporting AEC innovation.”

The board wanted to gain insights into this emerging technology explosion. Seeing the importance of digital transformation in the AEC industry, STO’s Executive Chairman, Jim Donaghy, asked Robbins to invite a panel of technology experts and entrepreneurs in the AEC space to its next board planning retreat.

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Source: CIO.com

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