The new infrastructure investment is igniting competition among construction and engineering contractors—it’s survival of the digitally fittest to win high-stake contracts. Below are thoughts on the issues:

What the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents for U.S. construction

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), signed last November, marks the beginning of a new era for U.S. construction, as infrastructure spending overtakes residential construction for the first time in years. This investment of historical proportions represents a huge step forward in building an America that is more sustainable, more equitable, and more competitive. 

Investment in U.S. infrastructure has long been overdue. Outdated systems not designed for the rigorous demands of a modern economy have put serious restrictions on U.S. productivity across all industries. A complete system overhaul is needed to improve supply chains, secure energy supplies, and develop critical connection across all sections of U.S. society and business.

Governments will be looking to optimize their investments–contractors must fit the bill

The IIJA provides $1.2 trillion to completely overhaul U.S. infrastructure, but who are going to get the jobs? The critical task of modernizing U.S. infrastructure on both local and national levels will require close collaboration between governments, contractors, and communities to achieve the desired outcome of making the U.S. more competitive and more sustainable. With such a large investment at stake, the government will be looking to optimize tax dollars and will place their bets on the most secure option. That means contractors that can guarantee project delivery, quality, and reliability will be the ones awarded with the prestige of rebuilding the U.S. infrastructure.

Contractors need to take full advantage of the opportunity this funding presents

The IIJA presents a golden opportunity for construction and engineering contractors to cash-in on new PPP (Public-Private Partnership) contracts and play a crucial role in building a more sustainable, resilient, and competitive America. Application for funds and project approvals are already underway, so now is the time for contractors to act. The aim of the IIJA is long-term economic development, so contractors should align their practices with this mindset and look to provide long-term value with high-quality project delivery on critical infrastructure assets. That means those construction and engineering contractors that can secure the lowest cost, the optimum quality, the most efficient delivery, and the lowest maintenance and operational expense throughout an asset’s lifetime, will be in the most favorable position to secure the valuable PPPs on offer.

Digital technology is the cornerstone of every modern construction project 

The rise of outcomes-based contracting means there is greater pressure for construction and engineering contractors to improve project management, increase efficiency, and deliver projects on time and on budget. 

Here project delivery is key, and that means the integration of critical digital technologies will be a crucial deciding factor in who is awarded competitive PPPs. These transformative technologies will reshape how construction and engineering contractors compete and change the construction landscape.

Technologies, including BIM, IoT, and construction-specific ERP, combined with innovative management solutions, will be essential to ensuring contractors and governments can limit unforeseen delays and expenses in infrastructure projects.

Real time data ensures projects are delivered on time, on budget and to a high quality

Access to accurate, real-time data increases responsiveness to crises so that the right action can be taken at the right time to avoid incurring unexpected costs and delays—contractors need to be proactive rather than reactive.

IoT sensors, BIM, and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) can play a significant role in enhancing project efficiency and delivery and government bodies are aware of this. For example, in the U.K. BIM compliance has become part of the selection criteria for contractors. Where this practice has yet to reach the U.S., the adoption of such technologies could significantly improve competitiveness over less tech-adapted contractors.

Service offerings are an underrated USP that will provide successful contractors with long-term revenue

A data-driven approach to project management allows construction organizations to foresee where repairs, retrofits, and servicing will need to take place and schedule these ahead of time before it is urgently needed over the course of an asset’s lifecycle, keeping citizens safe and businesses running and providing greater value to contract stakeholders.

Servitization is undervalued as a differentiating factor for construction and engineering contractors, but studies suggest it will become a widespread practice by the year 2025. Therefore, contractors that develop their service offerings now, ahead of the curve, can bring full asset lifecycle service to market first and take a greater share of competitive infrastructure contracts.


As 2022 draws to a close, looking back at what worked and where the economy and construction industry are headed will take more commentary from manufacturers and those in the field. Turn the page for more Year-in-Review commentary. 

About the Author:

Kenny Ingram is the vice president for the construction, contracting, engineering, infrastructure, and shipbuilding industries at IFS. In addition, he is heavily involved in other project and asset lifecycle industries including oil and gas, energy, utilities, and defense. Kenny’s main responsibilities are to promote the IFS solution to the external marketplace and to educate the IFS workforce on the business issues and challenges these industries face. He is also a key member of the IFS product management team who are responsible for making decisions on the IFS product strategy. Kenny has been with IFS for 25 years and has worked in the business systems marketplace for over 30 years. He is now regarded as one of the top specialists in project-based business systems and has been heavily involved in driving the IFS strategy in this area for the last 25 years. For more, visit

Modern Contractor Solutions, December 2022
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