When will mobile applications and enterprise technology start to share? As the use of mobile devices continues to proliferate construction, some in the market ponder the ways in which such data will integrate easier with enterprise technology.

Jay Haladay, CEO, Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore., describes it as a scenario in which “documents and browsers don’t get along very well.” He believes the way in which ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems interact with mobile devices like tablets will have great implications for how far data can be leveraged in the construction industry. While this challenge hasn’t quite been figured out fully, steps are being made in the right direction.

“Put simply, the line between documents (content) and data is blurring,” says Haladay. “The information contained on documents that flow into, out of, and between members of a construction firm must be used in many ways. Effective information management is demanding more and more collaboration between project stakeholders relative to this data. As a result, data needs to be shared within organizations and across companies, on different applications (from desktop to tablet to mobile) and delivered in a way that viewing/editing rights and proper workflow parameters are established.”

Norman Wendl, president, Corecon Technologies, www.corecon.com, Huntington Beach, Calif., believes the sharing of data across multiple forms will transform collaboration in construction. His idea of creating a truly collaborative environment requires a centralized repository of information that can be consumed by a blend of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

He points to Web-based solutions as becoming the preferred choice of delivery due to the fact technology has matured and bandwidth has improved. Corecon offers subscribers of its Web-based construction software suite an application called Corecon Mobile, specifically tailored for use on smartphones and tablets, allowing users to access, update, and collaborate on important project information.

Content will continue to consume the construction industry, taking on many different forms. The technology tools are there to collect the data, now the industry needs to transform to a model that will create a cohesive experience that reaches every part of the organization, from the field to the office, and even beyond.