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By Duane Craig
June 12, 2016
Whether you are the go-to tech person at your small construction firm, or you’re working in the IT department of a global construction company, you’ve got your hands full these days. Fortunately, there’s a technological solution for everything...
Want to monitor your jobsite remotely? Check out OxBlue’s cameras or Kespry’s drones. Need better document management, communication, and collaboration? Implement construction project management software. Want to manage your project in real time from the jobsite? Invest in tablets and iPads for the field. And before you know it, virtual reality will be second nature.
With all this technology swarming around the construction industry, it’s easy to lose your footing in all the applications and SaaS you have in play. To help rein in the chaos, here are 6 best practices to keep your virtual cords from crossing.
On today’s jobsites with mobile devices, apps, cloud storage, and a wide range of legacy hardware and software, it is more important than ever to have a firm footing in information security. Make sure you are in the know of computer systems, Internet protocols, and networking. If not, hire someone or a third party with the proper knowledge. With cyberwarfare on the rise, your data can never be too safe.
Developing and maintaining a technology plan is a fundamental requirement for managing any information technology footprint. What works today will gradually become less effective as time goes by. Your technology plan maps your current systems to your business functions, and then defines a path for upgrading and expanding where you see new needs on the horizon. Ideally, your technology plan is updated annually, but might also be updated throughout the year as new promising technologies mature. Your technology plan might also include research and development as well as migration paths to new tech that will replace multiple lines of existing technology. As your business evolves, so must your technology.
The vast array of the new options in information technology is all market driven. Sorting through this flood of products and services can become almost a full-time job. Every vendor will tell you that their product or service will solve whatever particular information issues you have. Unfortunately that’s just not the case. Make sure you know exactly what you need to fix and what it will take to fix it. Check out this software buyer’s guide to help you map out exactly what you need and what to look for when shopping.
That’s not to say that you should only consider information technology products or services when you have an issue to solve. At times, new options will come available to replace existing products or services. It only makes good sense to adopt them, rather than foregoing the new efficiencies they offer.
Certifications are increasingly forming the backbone of a well-rounded IT education. Certifications not only keep you up to date on the latest technology, but also help you to differentiate yourself from others in the profession.
Certifications provide deeper, practical knowledge about the hardware and software you manage. They also help you find solutions to new issues, and aid in your selection of new products and services to replace or improve your existing systems. With all the changes that happen in information technology on an ongoing basis, certifications are a powerful element for staying relevant.
Troubleshooting systems, responding to help requests, doing routine updates and maintenance to systems, and managing multiple aspects of information technology create quite the daily to-do list and there’s no substitute for managing your time effectively. Invest in your own IT project management software to keep things organized and progressing efficiently.
Most construction professionals have little to marginal technology experience. The more you can help your employees use the available technology to its greatest advantage, the greater your value to the company, and to the people who work there. Therefore, to be most advantageous, you need to seek out ways to make the technology easy for the company population to understand and utilize. Consider offering short training courses. Or, convince your company to make online courses available at no charge to employees.
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