As I write this blog, I’m in Chicago revisiting the first full day of the AGC IT Forum, August 14 and 15. It’s a conference I’ve attended or presented at that is always a great place to take the pulse of information technology in the construction industry.
This year has been no different. Take for instance the kick-off session, Game Changing Technology Trends in Construction IT, presented by James Benham. James is president of JB Knowledge Technologies, Inc., makers of SmartBidNet and SmartCompliance and we often collaborate as members of the Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA).
During his session, James previewed results from the 2nd annual 2013 Construction Technology Integration Survey, research sponsored by SmartBidNet. More than 700 construction companies of all sizes participated in the survey. Here are just a few trends highlighted:
- For 82.8% of contractors, software integration is important or very important to their company’s internal processes and overall efficiency.
- The largest percentage of construction companies (29.7%) have only two software applications that integrate; 28.3% have no applications that integrate.
- More than half (52.5%) of contractors use Microsoft®Excel to transfer information between non-integrated software; 36.5% still use manual transfer processes.
- 71.4% of construction decision makers feel that mobile integration and compatibility is important or very important when making software purchasing decisions.
- Compared to last year’s survey, many more contractors are approving the use of cloud-based software. The top three software now permitted in the cloud are:
- Invitation to bid/plan room
- Project management
- 56% of survey respondents say their current software provider offers a mobile application (I was glad to see Sage Construction Anywhere was one of the top 5 construction mobile apps currently in use).
The research also indicated a lack of cloud security policies and procedures in place. Of those surveyed 47.3% said none were in place and 22.4% said they didn’t know. We saw similar results in our Sage 2013 Construction IT survey. Security is a major concern and something that construction companies–with the help of technology providers—need to address.
If you are like most construction companies, your IT budgets are small and your staffs are stretched thin. Understanding the trends and where to best invest in IT will help you do more with less.
The sessions today are focused at integration, collaboration, and interoperability. Sage Construction and Real Estate, along with many other AEC technology vendors, realizes the lack of integration in our market. In order to help increase productivity, integration between the different products must occur. Initiatives like agcXML and COSA are directly in support of different interoperability efforts.
About the Author
Dennis Stejskal has over 30 years of experience developing, supporting and selling software and technology to construction and real estate companies. His comprehensive product knowledge and understanding of customer and market needs propelled him into his current role as Vice President of strategy and customer success for Sage Construction and Real Estate. Dennis has been a member and co-chair on the CFMA Technology Committee and often speaks at industry events, including CFMA, AGC and NAHB meetings and conferences.