The use of Information and Communications Technologies in consultancy services. a case of Engineering, Architectural and Quantity surveying consultants in Nairobi County, Kenya
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Construction, as a multi-organizations process, is heavily dependent on sharing and exchange of large complex data and information. This study presents research findings of a study that was conducted to assess the usage of the information and communication technologies (lCT) on consultancy services in Kenya. It focused on the consultants namely Architects, Quantity Surveyors and Engineers based in Nairobi County, Kenya. The findings were based on a questionnaire survey taken between May 2010 and July 2010 among 48 consultancy firms registered with Architectural Association of Kenya and the Ministry of Roads and Public Works Kenya. A total of 40 valid replies were received representing a response rate of 83.3%. The survey produced knowledge about the use of computers, hard- and software, communications, and plans and strategies for the use of IT. 95 % of all employees work at workplaces with computers. The most common types of software are word processors, spreadsheets and e-mail. 54 % of employees have their own computer at the workplace. The use of CAD is prevalent in the industry in particular AutoCAD. WinQS is the most commonly used quantity surveying measurement and estimating software. The documents that are most often sent digitally are calculations, minutes of meetings and construction drawings. Internet use is high in the industry. It was found that 87% of firms linked to the internet. The use of project webs and electronic' trade in the industry has started but it is not widespread. The industry experiences that IT has increased productivity, mostly in general administration and design which was found to be 95%. The results were presented in descriptive form using table (grouped into categories to reflect the research objectives). Regression analysis and correlation analysis test was used to test the hypotheses. This work showed that information technology (lCT) use has been widely used on construction consultancy services offered to its customers by the consultancy firms. The findings are relevant to both the construction industry and IT literature. It also identified and assessed the level of ICT use on consultancy services of the construction firms. The study used three independent areas to measure the significance of ICT use to the construction industry. These areas were current level oflCT use, role oflCT use and staff competency. Based on this strong significant emphasis in these areas by consultants would have a greater impact on the quality of service offered professionally Key words: Construction Industry, Information and Communication Technology, Consultancy Services by Consultants.