A comprehensive approach to managing your IT not only allows you to work more efficiently and keep your systems safe but also gives you an edge over your competition.
Most construction companies underestimate how much they rely on their IT infrastructure. Keeping it running efficiently and safely is vital.
Most companies don’t understand how much “downtime” would cost. In the case of a network outage or a ransomware attack, you might need to shut down operations for a day or several days. Reluctance to spend money and effort to improve IT infrastructure is much more costly in the long run. If neglected, it will only be a matter of time before you learn the cost of being shut down.
As the construction industry catches up by integrating technology to make it more efficient, the complexity of managing that technology increases. The array of new issues that need to be tended to is much broader than simply keeping machines running.
Technical solutions on-site and in the office must run effectively and safely.
Today there are more IoT (Internet of Things) devices on-site that include Bluetooth devices for managing settings and location. Job site devices, office security, and monitoring solutions may use Bluetooth and/ or Wi-Fi that needs to be secure.
In the office, there are client records, payroll and company books, as well as communication systems. On top of that, there are an array of regulations that companies must comply with, such as EPA, OSHA, and FLSA, as well as other federal and state laws.
The government recognizes the importance of embracing technology and modernizing the construction industry. The recent Infrastructure Bill includes funding to encourage the construction industry to embrace technology by creating an $85-million grant program.
The Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems (ADCMS) grant program will focus on digital construction, such as computer modeling and 3D design, to encourage modern best practices in project delivery. It complements President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that is rebuilding U.S. infrastructure. 1.
Taking a comprehensive approach to managing your IT environment can make your operation more efficient and safer in multiple ways.
- Improve Efficiency and Scale as Needed: Using the latest systems and software allows everyday tasks to be automated, and less time must be spent on tasks like invoicing and payroll. Reaching out to customers and prospective customers can be automated to improve sales and marketing. As the business grows and technology use grows, you are better positioned to upgrade current systems to integrate new uses.
- Make Compliance More Manageable: Complying with regulations regarding labor and operations, as well as customer data privacy, are very important. Accurate records and effective asset management can help avoid fines or lawsuits.
- Improve Security and Avoid DowntimeOnsite security and asset location tracking can avoid costly losses. Keeping up-to-date maintenance records will keep equipment running efficiently and help avoid major breakdowns. Security is an ever-increasing concern with the proliferation of ransomware attacks and unknown threats from AI.
Larger companies are more likely to need to hire a MSP (Managed Service Provider) that can remotely manage the company’s IT. An MSP can ensure patch management, add servers, and provide more robust operations and security so that the company doesn’t have to hire dedicated staff.
Technology maintenance and network security are not generally exciting to construction company owners. It is easy to think that whatever patchwork of systems you have now kind of works, so why make a change?
The answer is that threats against small and medium-sized companies from hackers are a growing source of losses for the industry. If your systems aren’t well managed, there’s a good chance that you will lose money to either hackers or to your competitors, who will overtake you by being more efficient.