Taking it to the field has become a growing battle cry in construction. Technology is becoming increasingly mobile with more and more software providers configuring solutions for tablets and smartphones.

All in all, the custom app route has not been fully embraced within construction. This despite a report earlier this year from analyst firm Gartner, www.gartner.com, Stamford, Conn., that predicts by 2017 nearly a quarter of all enterprises will be running some internalized version of an app store for purposes of managing corporate-sanctioned apps.

However, that trend could take hold in the coming years within construction. Results from the 2013 IT Playbook show 45% of respondents that currently do not use custom-developed apps do intend to do so in the near term. In the meantime, more and more contractors are turning to the software vendor community to fulfill their need for apps that allow them to do much more in the field than ever before.

On the topic of doing more in the field, Maxwell Systems, www.maxwellsystems.com, King of Prussia, Pa., launched RedLine for ProContractorMX Mobile Connect this week. This new solution allows field professionals to modify electronic documents on the go. This can be crucial for those looking to make modifications on the fly to electronic documents.

RedLine is part of Maxwell Systems’ Mobile Connect, construction project management iPad app. This app becomes a mobile extension for helping users to access important project-related documents and data managed in ProContractorMX.

Maxwell Systems highlights some of the primary features of RedLine with Mobile Connect:

  • Markup files using fingers or stylus on an iPad; save those revisions to ProContractorMX for distribution to architects, the office, vendors, anyone involved in the project
  • Take photos, use RedLine to make notes, and distribute instantly
  • Leverage seamless functionality to keep those in the field and those in the office in step on every project
  • Communicate—affordably and conveniently—through notes and markups on documents such as drawings, invoices, photos, contracts, and more

Are you still planning your mobile strategy? Are you not quite sure which apps are right for you? A good rule of thumb is to envision which processes need to be carried out in the field and then formulate a strategy for how technology can help you accomplish such tasks. With so many apps to choose from—construction specific or not—this might be the best way to ensure your company doesn’t get overwhelmed with apps.