One of the biggest challenges in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry today is the lack of communication and data-sharing capabilities among the various stakeholders on a project. Many teams are looking for new ways to share critical data across the entire project, from concept through operations.

With a large volume of data that needs to be shared on a project today, contractors and owners continue to ask key questions such as: who owns the data and where is it going to be stored. One stakeholder might put a tool in place and open it up to partners. But what happens at the end of the project. Can each player take critical data when the project is completed?

Technology providers continue to come to market with new solutions to address these challenges and provide solutions to improve collaboration in construction.

A new solution on the market comes from Sylo Management LLC, www.mysylo.com, Henderson, Nev. MySylo is a business or communication tool that looks to connect the various silos that exist within the AEC industry such as engineering, construction, design, and maintenance.

John Jackson, founder and CEO, Sylo Management, says the technology—currently in beta testing—was developed to address the lack of communication and common goals between stakeholders in an organization or a project.

The technology can be compared to social networking—Jackson calls the platform a project-networking tool. How does it work? A project profile is built, select documents are made public, and then other project stakeholders are invited to participate in project networking.

The difference between this system and others is that both parties have a record of the transactions, similar to the way email works. One party can choose to delete the transaction, but the other can save. Also, each team member can still choose to use their existing project-management platform. MySylo works as a bridge to kick an RFI (request for information) from a third-party platform, and send it to other team members through MySylo.

Could this system solve some of the challenges and key questions on a construction project today such as who owns the data and where is it stored? Possibly. It is exciting to watch as new platforms such as this and others come to fruition to address some of the critical issues in the construction industry.

Contractors and owners can certainly expect one big trend in the year ahead. The industry is continuing to push technology initiatives forward, driving the use of software for project management, scheduling, and others. And as construction technology becomes more widely used, teams will need a way to share the critical data with other team members. This year will likely be filled with product enhancements and new developments designed specifically to address this for the AEC industry.