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Has the software development world abandoned the construction industry?

And what can you do about it?

It’s a well-documented fact that one of the leading reasons for modern software adoption in the construction industry’s hesitancy is the lack of out-of-box applications available on the market. But why is that? To put it bluntly—the software development world has, in many ways, abandoned the construction industry. Or, more aptly, ignored it altogether. 

One of the reasons that the software development world has largely ignored the construction industry is the belief that the entirety of the industry suffers from what I refer to as the “beautiful and unique snowflake” quotient. And though that is partially true—yes, the construction industry is nuanced, and each company has a variety of unique needs, the reality is that business is business, and data is data. Therefore, though the subject matter may differ from one industry to the next, the drivers and outcomes of success remain the same.

But this so-called perceived abandonment has also led to the flip side of the argument. The construction industry has been led down a path of hesitancy, forced to be picky and hesitant—fearful of change and adopting new technologies. In short, it is often impossible to expect to purchase ready-made applications to fit all their organizational needs. Ultimately, selecting the wrong application can cost more in the long run, as the potential need for multiple applications to fit the needs of other areas in the business increases. To put the perception bluntly: turnkey software solutions waste time and resources. Don’t bother.

Now, as a construction industry leader, we know that companies are juggling many projects at once—work-in-progress reports, order tracking, keeping on top of employee hours, and ensuring that jobs are finished on time and within budget—all between tight deadlines. As a result, they don’t have time to worry about the benefits of modernizing their business, especially when they also think it’s a hassle to do so. 

Additionally, it’s easy to presume that the upfront cost of adopting new systems will be steep and arduous. As a result, it seems easier to either attempt to find alternate, complex solutions to try and make the process as painless as possible in the long run or opt not to modernize systems at all. 

Unfortunately, this approach mentioned above leads to out-of-date software applications that no longer function correctly—resulting in data siloes, projects running behind, and lost profits. The reality is that these issues cost your company millions of dollars annually. 

At this point, modernizing the business is a non-option, and piecemeal applications are not the way to go. So what is the solution? Modern, configurable business applications. Note the keywords here: configurable and business. 

A custom application can be costly and requires expert software developers. On the other hand, there is the ability to find the right business-oriented software that can be tweaked and configured to fit unique construction needs. The approach can save time and money in the long run and allows users to connect to and make the most of previously invested legacy software. The name of the game is protecting your bottom line. 

Many applications offer report development configurable to construction-oriented processes, allowing for authoring services to eliminate data silos across all systems. Doing so enables users to get the most out of their data across the project lifecycle—delivering the critical business intelligence an organization needs to succeed. 

For example, applications such as Microsoft Power BI allows the connection to virtually any data source, combine and shape data from those connections, and create reports and dashboards to share with others. More so, it allows users to easily and quickly create self-service business intelligence dashboards, reports, datasets, and visualizations that represent your construction business needs.

So what does this mean for you? Having all your data insights present on a single dashboard allowing easy access to a robust, connected ecosystem, is the difference between a surviving and thriving business. Selecting an easy-to-operate and configurable platform creates interoperable data, improving everything from labor and material forecasts to finding and fixing field issues before they happen. Most importantly, it allows you to deliver projects on time and within budget.

Sure, some applications may seem like a viable option when modernizing your business; however, there are no turnkey applications that fit the unique needs of the construction industry. If you want to keep your competitive edge and take your business to the next level—invest in a partner that can help you choose the suitable applications that allow for configuration and, most importantly, your future success.