Which technologies will have the greatest impact on your homebuilding organization in 2012? Will it be estimating, accounting, project management, scheduling? How about emerging technologies and devices like tablets or the process of BIM (building information modeling)?

The next 12 months could prove to be challenging for the homebuilding space, but a smart investment in the right technologies could help you uncover new efficiencies you never thought possible. For example, mobile technologies are continuing to emerge as a great value-add for helping homebuilders on the job.

Mobile technologies are playing a more prominent role on construction projects than ever before, and we are seeing technology providers come to market with new apps to fit the needs of builders.

For example, mobile applications continue to make a difference in the way builders communicate and consume information out in the field. Many believe the future of technology for construction will be centered on the ability to link people out on the construction site to backend systems.

In that regard, mobile technology needs to help enable this type of activity in the field.
We continue to see technology providers come to market with mobile apps that link critical field data with backend systems. For example, Kova Solutions, www.kovasolutions.com, Woburn, Mass., will be releasing its app for the iPhone in 2012. The company already allows clients to access Kova from their BlackBerry and Android smartphones today.

Using this app, field superintendents are able to access realtime job information electronically, manage job schedules, and control costs with integrated PO (purchase order) approval, among other tasks. Beyond simple functions, such an app can help improve quality with regards to things like inspections, photos, and resolution tracking; as well as help establish better communication with partners and customers.

As the year unfolds, it is certain the homebuilding industry will see a continued flood of apps that help them do their job. What will be some of the newest apps that will make your job most efficient?