The masthead at a construction company may look like many others: a CEO, CFO, potentially even a CMO. One of the more important roles as it relates to the future success of a construction business involves the IT Director, or possibly a CTO. It’s important to remember that the chief financial officer often works closely with IT to make technology investment decisions – and if they don’t, they should.
That’s because technology in the construction field has an impact that is wider ranging and farther reaching than ever before. Technology tools affect every aspect of the business, from finance to recruiting. If CFOs aren’t conferring with their IT leadership on sensible investments, it’s likely that their competitors will quickly advance past them.
Technology represents an important area of spend for construction companies, and there are several key areas to monitor if your technology deployments are lacking.
Where to Focus Your Tech Spend
Let’s look at a few areas within the technology roadmap that would benefit from a technology refresh. First, there’s business continuity planning, or BCP. Think of BCP as a fire drill for your business before a disaster occurs. From a data perspective, this could mean having project information backed up in data centers in states far away from your business, in the event an act of God destroys local infrastructure. Or it could simply mean how do you ensure accounts receivable keeps humming even if the rest of the business has ground to a halt.
Accounting technologies should be a focal point for CFOs and IT leaders, as new developments can help expedite the flow of cash from clients to a construction company’s coffers. Mobile-friendly project management tools can speed up invoicing while also helping project team members easily see which invoices remain outstanding, or which ones should be sent out next. Simply expediting the flow of information between the field and home office can play a role in how quickly invoices are processed.
Risk management and talent recruitment are two additional areas where CFOs may not be currently focusing their IT spend but should. Risk management is a broad space, and from a technology standpoint, applications that use artificial intelligence and machine learning can help identify threats before they affect worker safety. When it comes to attracting next-generation talent – especially in a manpower-starved industry – mobile training tools could play an important role in refining and growing the skills of your existing workforce, which could help attract workers from other firms.
Construction Collaboration Tools that Work
While construction technology remains a hotbed of discussion and investment activity, it’s important to remember that for smaller firms and family-owned businesses, the actual spend doesn’t have to be a large-scale investment all at once. Cloud-based construction technology platforms make it easy to achieve some of the goals outlined here, as collaboration tools enhance teams’ ability to share and transfer data between the field and home office.
Field operations software that is tightly integrated with construction project management tools can help superintendents see their projects in greater detail and real-time, while also making it easier than ever to submit field reports, RFIs, change orders, and more. For IT leaders and CFOs, this represents a great starting point for improving the operational performance of their business.
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