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February 20, 2019

Choosing Construction Technology that Works

The pace at which technology impacts business is staggering. From cloud-based file storage to constructionTech-1artificial intelligence, it seems like technology developers barely take a breath when it comes to rolling out new, game-changing applications. This is not a bad problem to have – but it can make choosing the best construction software application a challenge.

This phenomenon reveals itself no more clearly when analyzing how construction companies invest in technology. While every company is different, some firms likely spend somewhat carelessly on unproven technologies, while others hold back and exercise too much restraint, missing out on solutions that could benefit their bottom line.

That’s why experts are advocating a different approach to technology investment, one that is open to the impact new technological advances can have on a business but that also looks closely at whether that investment is solving an actual problem.

Process Improvements Versus Impulse Buys

One of the biggest potential pitfalls for any company investing in new technology tools is purchasing new technology assets solely for the purpose of acquisition. This is a very basic principle that businesses of every size need to avoid: excessive spending that doesn’t move any needles, or drive positive changes across the business.

That’s why many experts recommend looking at how the proposed technology spend will yield the process improvements businesses need to justify investing in a new solution or service. If there’s no net gain in efficiency or profitability, what did the investment actually deliver?

Some construction companies may believe that if a new project management tool solves an ongoing problem, the investment is justified. However, shouldn’t your technology purchase do more than just solve a short-term problem? That’s the broad, holistic view some experts are advocating in order to help construction companies prioritize their needs behind a technology purchase, and ensure that long-term process improvements will be realized.

Creating Enterprise-Wide Impact

For construction companies, measuring the value of a technology purchase like project management software or cloud-based collaborations tools has to extend across the entire organization, or at least impact every team member on a project. In particular, project management collaboration tools are designed to streamline communications and reduce the need to visit the home office to track down every piece of documentation. For instance, if a collaboration tool makes conversations more effortless but doesn’t make document-sharing any easier, did the technology purchase actually make the improvements the team needed?

Another possible pitfall comes from industry data that claims some construction companies aren’t involving every member of the IT team in purchasing discussions. For instance, if a construction company’s IT leader purchases an IoT solution but doesn’t involve the security team in the process, how would they know whether the technology investment has the proper features to safeguard against malicious attacks on the business?

If the investment provides seamless document sharing but no feedback was recorded as to whether it has the security measures necessary to protect file transfers via the cloud, can the construction company confidently say they made the best investment?

That’s why when construction firms make the decision to invest in technology, it’s best to build an overarching strategy first that will guide technology purchasing decisions. Look at how a project management or cybersecurity solution is critical to making operational improvements and define those perceived benefits before taking the plunge on a large-scale deployment that leaves dangerous gaps or team members unfulfilled.

For more information on how to approach a construction technology investment that will change your business for the better, contact United Solutions today for a comprehensive software demonstration.

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