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4 Top Construction Software Trends to Watch in 2021

Construction Estimator Onsite With Tablet

Construction software trends that have slowly gained traction for the past several years have been accelerated by the challenges of 2020. As January comes to an end, here are four of the most important trends to watch in the year ahead. 

Greater reliance on software with mobile capabilities

We’ve known for a while now that mobile capabilities are important. 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 smartphone for work on a daily basis in 2020. As for other mobile devices, 83% of those polled used laptops and 65% used tablets. 

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 for the next several months, no one can or should have their files and projects tied up in a desktop in the office anymore. 

Further emphasis on migrating to the Cloud

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 are depending 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.

Being able to access files and collaborate on projects from anywhere has even more meaning today. According to Construction Dive, worker safety will be one of the top 2021 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. 

Construction Estimating Efficiency

Increased efficiency through the adoption of new technology

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. 

Rising popularity of BIM as more companies embrace digital

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