Challenges, Considerations, and Solutions for AEC IT Pros
In the ever-evolving tech landscape of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, Information Technology (IT) professionals have a growing responsibility to steer the industry toward greater efficiency, collaboration, and data integration. But with only so many hours in the day, IT is faced with the challenge of vetting, introducing, and implementing new tech in addition to the day-to-day responsibilities of the department. This article considers tactics and technology that could help relieve the growing burden IT teams in the construction industry face.
How The Role Of IT Has Evolved
As the AEC industry enthusiastically adopts new technologies, the role of IT professionals is becoming increasingly strategic. IT is no longer just a support function of the organization, it is central to the organization’s efforts to promote efficiency, collaboration, security, and the integration of data across systems. With the industry experiencing a surge in technology adoption, IT professionals find themselves at the forefront, ensuring that these innovations are not only implemented seamlessly but also contribute to the industry’s overall advancement.
Modern IT Challenges In AECO Companies
The challenges faced by IT professionals throughout the AEC industry are multifaceted. One significant hurdle is the need to rapidly adapt to new technologies. In a sector where numerous software solutions cater to various roles and disciplines, IT professionals are tasked with the complex responsibility of managing multiple platforms concurrently. Setting up, securing, integrating, and supporting these platforms pose a significant burden, especially considering lean budgets and tight project timelines.
Numerous studies shed light on the magnitude of challenges AEC industry IT professionals face. Over the last three years, the volume of available project data has doubled. Additionally, 35 percent of construction firms cite a “lack of staff to support the technology” as the primary limiting factor to adopting new technology. The pressure is on IT to navigate these challenges effectively, ensuring that the company’s data as well as project data, remains secure while maximizing the potential of these diverse platforms.
How Construction Management Software Can Empower IT
To address these challenges, companies should consider construction management tools that have been developed to empower IT professionals in the AEC industry.
Platforms, systems, and sites need to be set up, connected, and access to information needs to be managed and, in many cases, integrated with third-party solutions for collaboration purposes. Unfortunately, a staggering 24 percent of companies in the AEC sector say that “none” of the software applications they use are integrate. This means, more likely than not, technology remains disjointed and error prone. Construction management software should promote interoperability.
Security and Governance
Managing security is another critical and ongoing challenge that lands squarely on the IT department’s lap. An ideal construction management solution should provide a secure framework at the project’s onset and make it easy to manage as staff come and individual roles change. Failure to establish proper software security early on opens the door to risks associated with the sensitive information shared on projects. With a myriad of systems in play, governance is exponentially more challenging.
User experience and adoption are integral. Unfortunately, when it comes to software, poor user adoption is often considered a failure of the IT department. Therefore, a company’s construction management software should promote a positive user experience for both internal and external users. It isn’t always feasible for a company’s IT team to provide hands-on technical support and maintenance of a software interface. So, the construction management software companies adopt should deliver a user experience that is simple and intuitive.
Breaking Old Habits
Breaking old habits for IT Pros and their teams in the AEC is crucial. With the increasing complexity of projects and the multitude of platforms involved, the historical reliance on traditional methods, such as manual file folder structures and email communication pose significant challenges and risks for IT professionals and projects.
The constant evolution of IT, coupled with the rise of digital innovation, demands a shift in mindset. The industry’s lean budgets and tight timelines require IT professionals to streamline processes, embrace automation tools, and develop templates to efficiently manage permissions and security across platforms. By doing so, IT professionals can free up valuable time, contribute high-level skills, and navigate the evolving landscape of IT in the AEC industry.
Choose The Right Construction Management Software
Selecting the right construction management tools is crucial for overcoming the challenges outlined above while driving overall project efficiency. Features to look for include self-service capabilities that empower end-users to be self-sufficient, reducing dependence on IT for all technology-related tasks. A framework built on role-based security is also essential to manage ongoing security changes. Finally, a modern, intuitive user interface is essential for quick user adaptation.
This is an exciting time to be an IT professional for an AEC company. New technology is transforming the way the built world operates. However, digital transformation also comes with distinct challenges.
Advanced construction management tools like ProjectReady, provide AEC companies with the integrated data environment necessary to streamline project operations and management while easing the administrative burden on the organization’s already stretched IT department. ProjectReady, delivers automated project setup across M365, Autodesk Construction Cloud, and Procore and M365 security and governance that spans SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. By utilizing ProjectReady, organizations can realize a 98% reduction in the time traditionally spent setting up new project sites, among other great benefits. Moreover, the platform promotes an intuitive self-service experience designed to empower end-users while reducing the burden on IT.
As the industry marches towards a more technologically advanced future, tools like ProjectReady will prove to be indispensable in ensuring project success and organizational growth.
Tap on the player below to hear a great discussion between ProjectReady’s CEO Joe Giegerich and Head of Development Shaili Modi-Oza to learn more.