4 Reasons Construction Industry Technology is Still Behind the Curve

The productivity increases that we typically see when we deploy our solutions, tweak an existing infrastructure or complete a project are exponential. While we’ve encountered some amazing organizations that are taking advantage of technology to make their construction business even more productive, it’s well known that construction industry technology has a reputation for being behind the curve. But why? Check out a few things we discovered and how we think we can help push the construction industry into the right direction.

Construction companies are still relying on pen and paper for bids.

Say what? It’s true. A staggering 52% of those surveyed reported that they were still using pen and paper to conduct estimating, takeoff, bid management and other processes, according to Software Advice, a construction management software and research advisory firm. While the construction industry admittedly took a blow a few years ago, resulting in many organizations cutting costs wherever possible, 33% of respondents agree that it’s time to improve the accuracy of their estimates.

They lack the infrastructure to really go mobile.

According to a study by JBKnowledge.com,

“For the third year in a row, the survey highlighted a growing interest in mobile technologies, but revealed that most companies continue to lack the infrastructure to integrate mobile with desktop strategies. Survey answers uncovered an awkward mix of personal devices being used without establishing proper data security policies and the continuous lack of technology providers offering mobile capabilities for their construction solutions.”

We’ve already discussed the importance of IT Security, and even have an IT Security focused webinar coming up to help businesses uncover the importance of security in their organization. But this survey reveals that the outdated technology we encounter within the industry is more common than we once believed. For construction companies in 2015, they’ll need to pay special attention to how to beef up infrastructure and security in preparation for mobility. To put mobility first is to put the cart before the horse.


The same survey also reported that the number of survey participants continuing to use spreadsheets for core project functions was a repeated concern for three consecutive years. Softwareadvice.com reports that 32% of their survey respondents are using spreadsheets to complete their bids and proposals as well. What’s the solution to this clunky habit? Software adoption. The number of software applications available to the construction industry is staggering. A simple search reveals many great options for contractors here.

We all know that the construction industry hit many bumps, but now that the economy is recovering, it’s time to go from survival mode to innovation. A study by Gartner put the construction industry dead last in IT spend when compared to 14 other industries. A failure to invest is a failure to improve processes, productivity, to be more flexible and agile – and it’s also a failure to increase profitability. Rather than using the same processes because they have always worked, the construction industry must innovate to keep up with the leaders in their organization and to sustain themselves in the long term, no matter what comes their way.

It’s easy to get stuck in your existing workflows when they’ve worked perfectly fine for so long. But clients, customers and employees are demanding more from their contractors. By making improvements in infrastructure and security, increasing mobility and availability of data, and bringing on specialized applications, contractors can see some astonishing gains in productivity, employee happiness and profitability.