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Today, there is no shortage of software solutions that support various workflows in the construction industry. A recent report found large companies today deploy an average of 163 software applications and smaller companies deploy an average of 99. The latest industry-specific report from JBKnowledge—2019 Construction Technology Report—found that almost 30% of construction companies regularly use five or more mobile applications. This number doesn’t include the wide array of cloud or desktop-based software, either. In fact, software adoption in the construction industry is driving a booming construction technology market which is projected to reach $2.71 billion by 2023 according to a Market Research Future report. “Increases in productivity and efficiency, and improved quality and integration are the primary factors driving the growth of the global construction software market.”

Construction firms increasingly embrace technology for several reasons, that mostly boil down to helping them do more with less. For instance, automating workflows reduces manual entry or processing of information, freeing up IT or document control personnel to perform more critical tasks. Cloud technology and mobile solutions allow access to data wherever and whenever it is needed, helping field teams answer questions and keep building without costly trips back to their trailers or offices.

There is no question that software can help construction companies manage projects more seamlessly and efficiently. However, using various, disconnected solutions introduces counterproductive risks—developing data streams that don’t talk to one another, and stunting collaboration and operational efficiency. Teams might find themselves spending more time on double data entry, injecting human error into project record sets and creating information barriers for team members who need to collaborate.

In response, construction firms that have progressed the farthest in the software adoption curve recognize the need for strong integrations and demand connected solutions that allow data to seamlessly flow between one another. Top software providers, in turn, are responding by building large ecosystems of integrations and partnerships.

The goal is to allow customers to share information between systems, eliminate duplication of data and further increase efficiency. Connected ecosystems allow construction firms to select the solutions which best meet their needs with the assurance that data can automatically flow between them. Integrated construction software allows all project stakeholders to work in the environments that best suit their needs, whether in the field, on the road or in the office. Interconnected solutions provide project teams access to uniform, most up-to-date information in real time to enhance collaboration across teams throughout the project life cycle.

A few examples of seamless exchanges of information between connected software solutions include:

  • sharing PDFs of drawings from design solutions to field document management solutions;
  • synchronizing RFIs between field and accounting solutions;
  • importing submittals between solutions; and
  • syncing issues and punch list items from one field team’s solution to another’s.

The potential improvements in collaboration and operational efficiency make a compelling case for construction firms to build their IT stacks with integrations in mind. To determine if a solution provider is integration-friendly, construction firms should consider:

  • What is the current range and depth of integrations available in the software provider’s portfolio?
  • Does the provider offer integrations with other products and software your firm already uses?
  • Does the solution provider have an open API? Is it behind a paywall, or is it readily available to customers and partners?
  • What is the solution provider’s roadmap of future integrations?

Construction projects are highly complex with many moving parts. They need software solutions that manage and reduce that complexity, not a patchwork of stand-alone solutions that exacerbate the complexity.

Connected software solutions are an imperative in today’s construction industry for automating complicated workflows and facilitating true collaboration and operational efficiency.


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