I recently had an interesting conversation with a software designer turned president about a new product initially launched last year, but the discussion quickly turned to how the days of the enterprise in construction are quickly winding down.
Let me set up the premise of the discussion for you. James Faulkner, president, Sitemax Systems, www.sitemaxsystems.com, Vancouver, B.C., was initially hired to design a virtual jobsite application for Wales McLelland Construction, www.walesmclelland.com, Burnaby, B.C., at the end of 2013.
The objective? Create a system that provides data to improve site management, ultimately increasing transparency, communication, and efficiencies in the construction management process. Roughly a year later commercialization of Sitemax began.
In speaking with Faulkner it is easy to tell he has a number of ideas about how to improve the use of technology at the jobsite. Not only does the virtual jobsite app allow everyone involved to see what progress is happening in realtime on mobile devices, but he has thoughts of how all this data will soon integrate into 3D modeling, augmented reality, drones, and more.
And in our discussion he made an interesting point: “Where the industry is changing is not just in the technology side, but the cost.”
This could simply be the quote of an executive trying to sell a product, but I really do believe there is more to his statement if you dig deeper. As I mentioned at the onset, the discussion quickly turned toward the topic of how the days of the enterprise are winding down.
He has a good point. The advent of mobile devices has dramatically shifted how the construction industry does business. Now, data can be gathered through easy-to-use, low-cost apps such as the application provided by Sitemax Systems—and this is noticeably changing how construction professionals use technology.
I do still certainly believe there is a place for larger enterprise systems within an organization, but more jobsite applications are beginning to pop up, creating an interesting dynamic in the industry.
I would love to hear your thoughts. We are gearing up for our May/June issue of Constructech, with a focus on mobility in construction. How are mobile devices and apps changing your business?