Before ‘lockdown’ became so familiar, digital transformation wasn’t a priority for many construction companies, who continued to rely on manual processes. However, drastic changes following the COVID-19 pandemic have catapulted digitalisation to the top of the agenda. Construction can realise many benefits from digitalisation as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis – from supporting adherence to best practices, to meeting new health and safety standards for worksites.
And even without COVID-19 in the picture, digitalisation streamlines collaboration across construction sites, helping to boost productivity. This is crucial for a sector with average profit margins of just two percent, as our latest research revealed. As a result of these factors, many IT managers in construction firms are on the lookout for digital solutions to deploy. There can be a lot to think about when deciding on a new digital tool, so to cut through the noise, IT managers should look at three key areas:1. Security
IT managers must choose a provider that guarantees data protection and compliance to all local regulations. Choosing a provider with a multi data centre strategy who can house a company’s data in a country as close to them as possible ensures compliance with each region’s specific regulations, and dramatically reduces latency. A SaaS provider can either host its systems on its own premises, or through a cloud provider A cloud provider who hosts its infrastructure on a major cloud vendor (such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud) offers a greater level of security through a ‘shared responsibility model’. This is because much of the security, compliance and resilience targets are covered by the cloud provider and certified by official external advisors.
Finally, looking for a provider who uses automated CI/CD and ‘infrastructure as code’ is also important. This automated development approach allows solutions to be deployed quickly and consistently across the company, dramatically reducing the risk of errors/regressions from one environment to another. This reduces gaps in the security perimeter and allows security to become ‘preventative’ rather than ‘reactive’.2. Scalability and reliability
Finding a solution that can adapt to projects and activities of all sizes is key. For instance, a worker carrying out maintenance on an energy facility may only spend two hours on-site at a small asset but will be recording essential data during this time – they will need a digital solution that allows them to easily log and share this data. IT managers also want to look at providers’ Service License Agreements (SLAs) to ensure all required projects are guaranteed to be deployed within a defined amount of time. This enables construction companies to work within defined time frames and to plan accordingly.3. Easy of adoption
Construction workers often do not share the same first language and many nationalities can exist on a single site, so working in just one language can be alienating. A digital solution should have multilingual options, so IT managers can ensure all workers have access to the same important information. This avoids misunderstandings and helps to streamline coordination and organisation – boosting efficiency and safety. Additionally, any tool needs to work on any mobile device – it needs to be compatible across different operating systems, so whether a worker uses Apple or Android, they can still access the solution from anywhere they like.
If you want to learn more about the digital shift in construction, check out this interview between our CEO, Franck Le Tendre, and ITR TV – he explains how going digital can help reshape construction now and post-COVID-19. Finalcad digitalises the processes and workflows that construction companies complete every day, optimising operations to enhance worker wellbeing, boost security and improve efficiency and productivity.
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