IT Technology Trends That Are Built For The Construction Industry

February 7th, 2014

Over the past 25 years, the Digital Revolution has drastically changed the way we work and play. Mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones; cloud technology; and real-time data analysis allow contractors to be connected more than ever before. Experts believe that if mobile technology trends are heading in any direction, it is up. That means more powerful devices and even smarter technology to help you stay ahead of the industry.

Affordable new technologies equip contractors to stay connected with their employees and clients, all while optimizing productivity. Companies of all sizes will find these accessible innovations useful.

IT Technology Makes Sense (And Cents!)

According to a Consumer Review Survey done by Search Engine Land, 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. Of all web traffic, nearly a quarter of it is mobile. The online advertising network, Chitika, reports that smartphones make up almost 15% and tablets account for almost 6%. This number is only increasing as applications and other features that appeal to business users continue to permeate the mobile world and allow them to leave their laptop at their desk. Companies are paying attention to these IT trends; most are ready to upgrade to the latest technology as consumers are opening up their wallets for the latest smartphones, tablets, and apps.

Having a sound mobile strategy is an integral component of a business's overall marketing focus. Mobile marketing is a growing area that contractors should be taking advantage of. This includes communicating with customers through social media sites and mobile apps. Mobile social networking apps that target a user's location can boost your local business when it comes to sending out sales information, coupons, and spreading word of mouth.

Mobile Devices

Tablets are leading the way as the medium of choice for many contractors and builders. They are not just for entertainment and reading anymore; they are quickly changing work habits and the way businesses operate. Tablets and apps are mutually connected and many construction software providers are beginning to repurpose their programs as apps, or at least make a mobile-friendly version. This is helping users to remotely review project plans, manage time card entry, check schedules, reference contracts, create punch lists, and perform other construction-specific tasks, like basic cost estimating.

Investing in mobile technology can greatly cut the cost of field reporting. Its not surprising that the paper oriented format of operation in the construction industry is not a cost effective approach. In fact, it has been found that it soaks up around sixteen billion US dollars in the US real estate sector only. Construction industry trends show that the emergence of information technology has helped the industry save funds which could be channeled into other aspects of the business, like mobile marketing. Not to mention the value of improved decision-making, more predictable project outcomes, and better customer relationships that come along with having timely access to project information in the field.

Cloud Technology

Cloud services are thriving in construction since it enables on-the-go professionals to store and access important documents from anywhere. Mass amounts of data and research go into making a building project a success, but we already learned that construction software can take your data and organize it for you. Now, Cloud-based solutions allow users to access complete software packages on any Internet-connected device, from any Web browser. So, the organized data points from your construction software can be accessible to anyone who needs them. With this information, contractors can turn the disorderly data into streamlined work processes to improve project workflows, communication, and collaboration.

The construction industry seizes on new technology like this because it eases the process of their job. As the construction industry becomes increasingly mobile, contractors find themselves working onsite more frequently and managing multiple job sites at once. With many often not based behind a desk, being able to remotely access information is essential.

Real-time Data Analysis

Attainable real-time data visibility goes hand in hand with mobile devices and cloud services. All the construction industry trends that lead to increased IT technology have the same goal: accelerated processes for better business. Instantaneous retrieval allows contractors at the job site to complete forms within moments. It also gives those back at the office, or at another location, the ability to view the same project information just as quickly. All together, the company is interacting and connecting in a way that was never possible before.

As the construction industry continues its recovery from the last recession, IT technology should not be overlooked. It is important to remember that technology trends fluctuate over time; good businesses last. So while you should stay on top of the trends, you must match up the right technology with your business objectives. The best technology objective in construction is to examine your business demands first, then apply the technology where there is a need.