As the news surrounding COVID-19 continues to focus on the lack of a pending cure, there’s little doubt the time for businesses to sit on the sidelines is over. Waiting for a return to normalcy is not a strategy, and many business experts have argued that if anything, the time has never been better for unbridled innovation.
Change is not always easy to embrace, particularly in construction. In good times, many construction companies resisted the call to adapt to new technologies, satisfied with how their businesses were prospering without a hefty outlay for new software and other technology tools. No longer; if the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the companies with the ability to quickly pivot to a remote business model were virtually years ahead of their peers in terms of rapid adaptation.
Despite industry experts still forecasting some level of growing pains or discomfort for construction companies that are struggling to adapt, there’s also cause for optimism: innovation will now come rushing into the industry, making rapid migration possible if for no other reason than to survive. Fortunately, the technology tools at the industry’s disposal will not only help construction companies survive, but potentially thrive in the short term and as the economy rebounds.
Let’s take a look at the ways in which ground-breaking technology tools can helps construction companies experience a silver lining while the country adapts to the evolving normal.
Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan expects that the construction market will continue to accelerate in the future despite the inevitable short-term impacts caused by COVID-19, which significantly delayed many construction projects around the world. The industry has begun to return to work with proper safety and health protocols in place, but making up for lost time will continue to be a focus as the country continues to grapple with creating a reliable vaccine.
One of the first areas where the necessity for a proven technology platform revealed itself was in remote work capabilities. Some firms have resisted the concept of cloud-based project collaboration software, despite the fact it promised many benefits even before the need for remote work materialized. Greater collaboration, reduced reliance on transportation, fewer errors and easier access to critical files were all among the benefits of cloud technology that connected teams in real-time despite not being in the same physical location. It eliminated the need for daily or weekly trips to the home office by field supervisors simply for the purpose of logging project updates into a central database.
Now, as companies continue to migrate towards remote work policies beyond the forecasted impact of COVID-19, the need for cloud-based project management software is greater than ever. Companies worldwide have seen the cultural and cost benefits of no longer requiring employees to report to a centralized home office. Already, major companies are selling commercial office property under the expectation it will no longer be needed.
In a similar fashion, existing technologies can be adapted to the construction industry to improve existing processes or enhance the safety of jobsite operations. Industry experts expect technologies such as augmented / virtual realities, automation, robotics, and 3-D printing all to play significant roles in enhancing jobsite safety and to address the impact of the dwindling workforce that has plagued the construction industry for years. And despite being “old hat” by some measures, experts expect that sustainable construction will only grow in importance, which will have a direct correlation on the sophistication of the jobsite and the ability of project management teams to put technology to work to identify opportunities to spur worker efficiencies, waste reduction, and reduced emissions across the entire project’s operations.
Perhaps the demand for rapid technology integration is seen no more clearly than in the increase in acquisitions of startups and other technology outfits that help construction industry organizations fill a gap or increase their capabilities. Companies like Autodesk have been snatching up smaller firms for some time now, and Suffolk Construction introduced new business lines that included technology development and investment, along with in-house R&D. Frost & Sullivan expects that more companies will follow suit, looking to provide multiple services under one brand, one roof.
In a similar fashion, companies like United Solutions have integrated multiple technology platforms from Sage that help construction firms revolutionize their technology roadmap, whether they seek next-generation construction accounting software or cloud-based tools that enable teams to work remotely. No matter what void a construction firm is trying to fill, United Solutions has the cutting-edge software needed to continue innovating in a time of COVID and beyond.
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United Solutions provides unmatched software solutions and support for more than 3,000 clients in the construction, real estate industries. We enable our clients to operate at peak efficiency and maximize their profits.Read More
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