Construction software trends that have slowly gained traction for the past several years have been accelerated by the challenges of 2020. Today, the sector has started to adopt new tech solutions, but the progress needs to be faster and more modest. The lack of technological innovations on construction sites results in increased costs, job delays, and workplace safety hazards. This gave rise to construction tech startups aiming to address these challenges. Here are some of the most important trends to watch in the year ahead.
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Construction technology will have found stability and acceptance in the construction industry. The different contech platforms like virtual reality, wearable technology construction software and apps, prefabrication, and predictive analytics will have gained roots in the industry.
Virtual reality, for instance, enables construction companies to use virtual reality to create ultra-complex 4D models of buildings so that clients can have an immersive and fulfilling experience before even actual construction begins.
We’ve known for a while now that mobile capabilities are essential. The ability to access information on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone while on-site has become more than ideal — it’s expected.
According to JBKnowledge’s Annual ConTech Report, 92% of construction industry workers polled used their smartphones daily in 2020. As for other mobile devices, 83% of those surveyed used laptops, and 65% used tablets. Some of this software include procure, construction online,jobnimbus, stack, and many more.
We can do almost anything from our phones and other mobile devices these days, and your teams are beginning to expect the same capabilities while out in the field — or working remotely from home. In fact, with stay-at-home orders continuing to impact workers in many areas for at least the next several months, no one can or should have their files and projects tied up on a desktop in the office anymore.
That brings us to our next trend to watch for: the Cloud. We all know it’s wise to back up your data to the Cloud, so it’s safe from computer crashes, human error, and natural disasters. Now that more workers depend on their mobile devices to complete their jobs, however, we’re going to see more teams embrace the Cloud, which goes hand in hand with mobile capabilities.
When ProEst moved to the Cloud in 2015, we were ahead of the curve — and so were the general contractors and subcontractors we serve. They have been better prepared to meet the needs of their employees during these changing times and have used our technology to gain a competitive edge.
Accessing files and collaborating on projects from anywhere has even more meaning today. According to Construction Dive, worker safety will be one of the top 2022 trends in the construction industry. Collaborating on the same project from different computers — whether they’re on other sides of the office or miles away — will be an important way to practice social distancing. This has also made it possible to retrieve one's documents quickly.
Some of our integration partner Premier’s predictions for top construction industry trends in 2021 include prefabrication and modular construction, eco-friendly and sustainable practices, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.
All of these trends point to one unifying trend: more efficiency and less wasted time, effort, money, and resources. Construction software, which makes complicated processes more efficient, is in line with this trend and will likely gain more popularity among general contractors and subcontractors.
Between the construction industry’s ongoing labor shortage and new labor restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies will be looking to technology to help streamline their operations. Smarter software allows teams to complete more work in less time, without having to hire extra workers — maintaining current spending and increasing productivity at the same time.
BIM, or Building Information Modeling, has been a top trend for a while, but has yet to truly take off as anticipated. Despite BIM’s success so far, JBKnowledge’s Annual ConTech Report, shows that its popularity has remained the same for the past five years. In 2020, 29% of construction industry workers polled reported that their companies simply don’t bid on projects that involve BIM — and this response has been the most popular for four years now.
Why might this change in 2021? All of the trends we’ve previously discussed point to one thing — the construction industry’s realization that digitalization makes a difference. Further adoption of new tech should pave the way for BIM to finally gain more traction in the industry as more companies make the switch to construction software, mobile applications, and the Cloud.
Will this be the year your construction company embraces new technology or have you already gotten ahead of the curve? For further reading, check out our executive report on the 7 Habits Of Winning Construction Companies.