Small- and medium-size firms (49 or fewer employees) that are nimble and can leverage technology will survive and prosper, and may even be competitive with their larger counterparts, yet many are hesitant to make the investment in technology needed to improve productivity and performance. The report states that overall, few firms use BIM software (about 10 percent are using it for billable work), and most of those are the larger firms. According to James P. Cramer, Hon. AIA, chairman and C.E.O. of the Greenway Group, “Medium-size firms are not going to be competitive nor innovative until they invest at least $5,000 per employee in IT, and that means adding BIM purchases right now. It is puzzling to see in the AIA survey that firms spent only an average of $2,700 per employee on IT expenses.”
Web sites are an essential practice tool for recruiting staff, marketing, public relations, linking branch offices, and communicating with clients [see Practice Matters, record, February 2007, page 57]. One curious finding, noted by Cramer, is that a whopping 40 percent of the firms that replied to the survey do not have Web sites.