In an industry often characterized by hard hats and heavy equipment, information technology (IT) has recently taken center stage in construction.
From cloud computing and virtual reality-powered building information modeling (BIM) rooms to smartphones and blockchain, these digital tools promise contractors a competitive edge. Given the growing complexity of projects and the ongoing challenges of managing remote, multi-contractor teams, it is more important now than ever to know when and how to invest time and money in IT.
Fortunately, fundamental business practices do not change as rapidly as technology. When contractors make technology investment decisions driven by business needs, the return on those investments are measured against the results – such as improved productivity, reduced jobsite injuries, and increased profitability.
Today, an analogous convergence is happening with IT, and it holds as much or more potential for change as the Watt’s Steam Engine did for the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s (see Exhibit 1). The challenges lie in the growing number of IT infrastructure and application options and the ability to ensure these investments grow and produce positive business outcomes.