IoT: It’s All about Data
I have been thinking a lot lately about disruption—more specifically, how the IoT (Internet of Things) will disrupt the construction industry. We have talked about this before, and we will certainly talk about it again, but I would like to take a couple minutes today to examine this and really identify what it all means.
At its core, the story we are telling in Constructech is all about data. Information is the crux of any good technology and business strategy—this was the case nearly 20 years ago when the first issue of Constructech published, and it will continue to be in the future as well. Contractors will always need good project management, accounting, bidding/estimating, and scheduling systems. That won’t change.
What has changed is the manner in which data can be delivered. We are hearing from a lot more technology providers that the IoT is changing their strategies, and that will in turn alter how construction companies leverage technology.
Just last week we heard Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Construction and Engineering, tell Peggy on The Peggy Smedley Show that the growth rate of the IoT in construction is faster than any other vertical industry right now.
This is a conversation that Peggy and I have had here in the office quite a bit lately, as we anticipate the construction industry is going to leapfrog other industries in the Internet of Things.
Peggy even addresses this in her blog where she says, “I am more confident than ever the construction industry can lead the charge by adopting and embracing IoT solutions. Once we deploy these solutions we can solve infrastructure issues such as traffic and congestion, parking in cities, and open doors for the next generation of connected, autonomous vehicles. This includes insight into structural infrastructure such as bridges, anything made of concrete, buildings, and railways.”
While this is our vision here at Constructech, it seems others in the space share our vision as well. I was encouraged to see Caterpillar, www.caterpillar.com, Peoria, Ill, Bechtel, www.bechtel.com, San Francisco, Calif., Brick and Mortar Ventures, www.brickmortar.vc, San Francisco, Calif., and Bradley University, www.bradley.edu, Peoria, Ill., working together on a competition that will change the way we build infrastructure, cities, and even homes today and into the future, as they are working together on NASA’s Centennial Challenge.
This particular challenge is created to encourage people to come up with innovative ways to design and print a habitat that could be used for deep space exploration. The design phase was completed last September. The second phase, which just opened, is the structural competition, which focuses on the technologies needed to manufacture structural components from materials. The third phase will be the actual building of habitats.
Next fall, teams will test the structural components and compete for an award. The prize? $1.1 million in phase two of the competition. I am eager to see what comes of this.
That is one great example of innovation at work. And it is only one example. As I mentioned, we are hearing from a lot more technology providers that the IoT is going to be a game changer in the construction industry. Navigating the IoT can certainly be tricky, but our hope is we can be a resource for your company in the year ahead to identify strategies and best leverage the data that exists within your business. Stay tuned. There is more to come.
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