We’re constantly seeing new developments in technology enhance daily life and make for a more connected society. As well as technology impacting our personal lives, many businesses are realising how devices and software can significantly improve working practices.
Within the construction industry, digital technologies have the ability to address the challenges some firms are currently facing, such as poor profitability and productivity, project performance, skill shortages, and sustainability concerns. However, in KPMG’s global construction survey, only a mere eight percent of respondents categorised their company as ‘cutting-edge technology visionaries’.
At the moment, some of the most common barriers to adoption centre on the cost of switching to new technology. However, rather than breaking the bank, there are cost effective solutions available that will dramatically impact construction businesses for the better.
Embracing cloud-based solutions
Cloud-based solutions are one cost-effective way to become more digital. Various pieces of software are now available that allow users to store and access data over the Internet instead of via a hard drive, such as Dropbox. This not only speeds up business processes, but also improves the quality of the data collected by reducing user error. Information can be accessed quickly and easily while on the move, and all data is safely stored and backed up in the cloud, which prevents important documents from being lost.
Adapting to mobile working
Another area that is gaining a lot of attention from businesses is mobile working. From office staff who want the flexibility of working remotely, to businesses that want to boost productivity, mobile working is touching pretty much everybody in the world of work.
However, according to KPMG’s report, only a third of construction businesses regularly use mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets. Bosses need to recognise that introducing mobile working policies gives employees the flexibility to work from any location, and at any time, which is ideal for construction workers who often work from various sites. And with two thirds of people in the UK now owning a smartphone, and over half of households owning a tablet device, staff can use their own devices in the workplace, so business don’t need to provide employees with expensive technology.
Investing in wearable devices
With more and more wearable devices becoming available, a buzz is growing around how this technology can be brought into the construction sector.
We’ve already started to see a few examples where wearables have been put to use on site. For instance, Google Glass was used by General Motors (GM) at two of its sites in Michigan to train its staff working on the production line. And Redpoint has developed a safety vest that contains GPS technology to alert workers if they are entering a hazardous area. The vest also helps the employee to request assistance quickly if they feel they are in a dangerous situation.
Monitoring an employee’s movements, improving health and safety, increasing productivity and reducing the risk of accidents occurring are among the many advantages that construction companies can achieve by adopting these devices.
In today’s increasingly digital society, construction companies need to recognise that technology has the ability to completely transform their sector. Digital transformation is a certainly a game changer, which is why other industries are already getting on board to become more agile and competitive. To avoid being left behind, the construction sector needs to up its game and move with the times.
For more information, please visit: www.workmobileforms.com/