2016 Construction Outlook Report Reveals Enthusiasm for IT Investment

Report identifies 5 trends in IT investment for construction contractors

2016 Construction Outlook Report Reveals Enthusiasm for IT InvestmentAccording to a report based on surveys recently commissioned by the Associated General Contractors of America, most construction professionals are optimistic about continued growth in the industry over the next 3 to 4 years.

About 70 percent of respondents expect to hire new workers and grow their businesses in 2016, and they realize that technology will be very important in helping them to accomplish their goals. Contractors have begun to dedicate more resources to IT, with 41 percent of respondents spending at least 1 percent of revenue on IT in 2015 compared to just 32 percent making this level of investment the previous year.

Here are 5 important trends that are driving this construction industry IT investment.

Strategic Investment: Contractors have long used software for core business processes such as accounting, estimating, project management, and scheduling. But according to the survey results, companies are increasingly viewing their IT investments as strategic, rather than just making piecemeal purchases or improvements. Right now, 42 percent of survey respondents have formal IT plans and 11 percent more plan to implement formal plans in 2016.

Cloud Technology: In 2012, 45 percent of contractors surveyed didn’t know what the cloud was. In the most recent survey, 59 percent of respondents said they are now actively using cloud-based software to enable instant access of vital information anywhere, any time.

Collaboration Technology: Though many contractors still depend on email and file sharing sites to communicate and collaborate with project partners, 40 percent of contractors surveyed have adopted more sophisticated online collaboration software. This trend is being led by the bigger companies first.

Estimating Software: There are many possible types of software that can help contractors win projects, such as sales software, marketing software, and CRM. However, the most popular software for winning business among contractors is estimating software, which is now used by almost 70 percent of survey respondents to quickly produce accurate bids.

Tighter Security: While security concerns are keeping some companies from going to the cloud, most contractors report that they are overcoming their security concerns with an overall IT security plan (75 percent) and a mobile security plan (46 percent).

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