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developing new understanding and approaches to complex service systems

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Thalya Zomer


Thayla Zomer is a PhD student under the supervision of Professor Andy Neely. Her major research interests revolve around digital transformation in the construction sector. She is a fellow of the Faculty for the Future program of Schlumberger Foundation.


Thayla holds a MSc in Production Engineering with distinction and a BSc in Civil Production Engineering with a first-class degree from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Prior to her PhD, she worked as researcher at the Operations Management Laboratory of the Federal University of Santa Catarina. Her research was focused on product-service systems and sustainability.

Digital transformation in the construction sector

Rapid advances in digital technologies are redefining industries and sectors on a global scale. Companies are transforming their organisational activities, processes, and models to leverage the opportunities of digital technologies. The benefits are already being perceived: higher productivity, greater customer experience, and new business opportunities.

However, the benefits of a digital transformation are not yet distributed among different industries, sectors, and nations. Digitisation has only begun to transform many industries. Recent research looking at the state of digitisation in different sectors has found a large gap between sectors and industries. This is the case of the construction sector, which has been slow to adopt process and technology innovations. Actually, the construction sector lags behind other sectors and is at the bottom of the list.

There is no alternative to digitisation. Old-economy sectors and industries need to catch up. The construction industry is aware of the importance of digital transformation; the problem lies with implementation. Although many construction firms have adopted new technologies and tools for multiple use cases, many fail to obtain full value from them. 

The primary goal of this PhD research project is to increase understanding of the transformation that construction firms undergo to leverage the opportunities of digital technologies, both at the intra-organisational and inter-organisational levels. The digital transformation represents a complex and multidimensional change for construction firms. By investigating more deeply the transformation process, it will be possible to understand better why the pace of digital transformation is slower in this sector and inform practitioners about the actions that should be taken to accelerate the transformation in construction industry.


  • Construction Industry
  • Digital Transformation
  • Digitisation
  • Digital Economy

Cambridge Service Alliance

Welcome to the Cambridge Service Alliance…

  • a unique global alliance between leading businesses and universities;
  • bringing together the world's leading firms and academics;
  • all of whom are devoted to delivering today the tools, education and insights needed for the complex service solutions of tomorrow.

Members of the Cambridge Service Alliance include BAE Systems, Caterpillar, IBM and the University of Cambridge.


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December 2017 Newsletter

Dec 04, 2017

Find out about the Service Week events and other news from the Service Alliance in this new edition of the newsletter

Government announces new Centre for Digital Built Britain at Cambridge

Nov 29, 2017

The Government have today announced £5.4 million in funding to enable the launch of a centre of excellence in Cambridge to champion the digital revolution in the built environment. The Centre is part of a landmark government-led investment in growing the UK’s construction sector.

Digital Business Transformation and Strategy

Nov 22, 2017

November Paper by Mariam H. Ismail, Mohamed Khater, Mohamed Zaki on 'Digital Business Transformation and Strategy: What do we know so far?'

EPSRC Grant: OMMS - Wireless Micro-Factor that will treat people with Cancer

Nov 14, 2017

OMMS: the wireless micro-factory that will treat people with cancer Building Service Business Model Innovation

November Webinar - A System Perspective on Business Model Evolution

Nov 13, 2017

Webinar by Chander Velu on 'A Systems Perspective on Business Model Evolution: The Case of an Agricultural Information Service Provider in India'

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