ITcon Vol. 8, pg. 397-412,

How the internet is changing the role of construction information middlemen:

submitted:March 2003
revised:August 2003
published:October 2003
editor(s):Amor R and Jardim-Goncalves R
authors:Christer Finne, Lic. Tech., M. Arch
The Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki
summary:The Internet has radically changed the border conditions for infomediaries in most industries. It has created new business opportunities in the new, networked value chains that have evolved, and threatened the existence of companies who fail to re-engineer their operations. The paper firstly deals with recent developments within e-business in general and among information middlemen in particular. They act as intermediaries between those who have information and those who need it. They also produce information by themselves. Information can be delivered digitally, and is thus eminently suited for electronic commerce. The central starting point of the analysis is in basic transaction cost theory, which explains how specialised information brokers add value to the construction and facilities industry. Despite all the hype about the \"New Economy\", this theory still holds. What has changed, however, is that new factors enter the equation, such as for instance an infomediary's ability to restructure information into such a form that their customers' computer applications can read it as well as humans. In the paper the stages of the design, construction and FM cycle are analysed and the role that information plays through these are discussed. After this the functions that construction information services have traditionally carried out are described. The paper aims at presenting proposals for a multi-tier architec-ture for how such services should structure their future information systems in order to meet the new demands they are facing. In particular an information middleman's services should cover the whole life-span of the CFM process, since the same information stored in databases can be provided in different combinations for different purposes throughout the process, thus offering significant economics of scale. Finally some preconditions for the conclusions are discussed.
keywords:Information middlemen, infomediaries, information brokers, building centres, the construction process
full text: (PDF file, 0.486 MB)
citation:Finne C (2003). How the internet is changing the role of construction information middlemen:, ITcon Vol. 8, Special issue eWork and eBusiness, pg. 397-412,