I was having a technology strategy session with a client who is in the process of grooming the next generation of company ownership. The younger family member made the comment that the needs of the 21st century construction manager are far different than the needs of historical business managers.
Having worked in the construction business for many years, I would have to agree. We have become more collaborative in our organizational structures and less hierarchal. This migration to a more collaborative environment has increased our dependencies on mobile technologies, audio and visual capabilities, and given us greater and faster access to corporate data and networks.
What has this migration to a more collaborative and mobile work environment done to the relationship between the historical construction manager, the new and upcoming technology driven manager, and IT departments (whether in house or outsourced)? It often puts the three parties at odds, primarily around budgets and expectations of the technology.
The 21st century construction managers want to be mobile, want to have access to corporate data regardless if he or she is working in their office, in a hotel, or on the move working on a tablet or smart device. The historical construction manager wants to insure that the data is secure, the intellectual knowledge of the company is protected, the systems are backed up, and the technology is implemented with as little investment and overhead as possible. Both have valid concerns and both provide a challenging opportunity for the technologist who is charged with providing both with what they need to insure that the company is successful.
Does this mean cloud computing? As more and more companies have ventured into cloud computing to resolve this situation, we are now learning that the answer may be … maybe, but not always. In many cases it’s a combination or hybrid of technologies that best serves both the 21st century construction manager and the historical construction manager.
In my next blog post on September 26, I will delve further into the role the technologist must play to bridge the gap.
About the Author
Scott Lewis has over 30 years experience in the selection, implementation and management of business technology resources. Winning Technologies is a business management company that specializes in the construction industry and technology management within the construction vertical. Winning Technologies maintains 12 offices around the country visit www.winningtech.com for more information.
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