2017 Constructech 50: Driving Change
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” This quote from writer and speaker Robin Sharma sums up the transformation that is happening in the construction-technology space these days.
Construction companies have always been mobile by nature, needing access to information in the office, at the jobsite, and everywhere in between. However, the advent of the cloud, mobile devices, and emerging technologies has changed how business is done, and is creating new considerations for how to leverage technology.
The challenge is technology is changing so rapidly. Understanding what is coming in the market, and recognizing the leaders in the space becomes critical to implementing a solid plan for how to best leverage technology in construction.
Pointing to a changing tech marketplace, Gartner, www.gartner.com, Stamford, Conn., says worldwide IT spending will grow 1.4% in 2017—and it and others point to some pretty interesting trends in the software, hardware, and services space.
For instance, mobile phone sales and smaller improvements in sales of printers, PCs, and tablets will have small growth this year. The tablet market continues to decline significantly, as replacement cycles remain extended and both sales and ownership of desktop PCs and laptops are negative throughout the forecast period, according to Gartner. IDC, www.idc.com, Framingham, Mass., concurs, showing that smartphone shipment was slow in 2016, will recover in 2017, and then will gain momentum again in 2018.
Adding to that, Gartner suggests the number of enterprise mobile apps is actually not accelerating, as more than a quarter of enterprises globally have not built, customized, or virtualized any mobile apps in the last 12 months. The challenge is there is a backlog of apps that need to be completed. Of those apps that have deployed, the average is eight mobile apps to date. Another 2.6 mobile apps are currently being developed, and 6.2 mobile apps are planned for the next 12 months, but are not yet in development.
With this in mind, it is not surprising then that worldwide IT services market is forecast to grow 2.3% this year. More specifically, Gartner says worldwide public cloud services market is set to grow 18% in 2017, with the highest growth coming from infrastructure-as-a-service. This trend is very evident in the construction industry, which is more often relying on technology companies to provide many of these services to deploy all these new, emerging technologies.
So which emerging technologies will really take off? IDC suggests AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and MR (mixed reality) will gain momentum this year. However, it is still in the very early days, and many construction companies are still trying to determine how this type of technology fits into the overall workflow.
What is taking off is the technology that provides collaboration capabilities among the entire construction project team—from the architect, to the engineer, to the general contractor, to the subs, and finally, the owner. This is what is really changing in the construction industry today. Teams need to be able to collaborate and share data easily among the team.
Machine learning, Big Data, business intelligence, and analytics is changing the way business is done. Many technology powerhouses understand this is changing the way construction companies do business, and are creating the capabilities to provide this.
At the same time, many new companies are emerging in the market, with innovative ideas for how to change the construction industry. Identifying the true technology leaders in the market today requires looking at all these trends, and understanding how they are changing the construction industry.
Enter the Constructech 50. Evolving from Constructech’s Hottest Companies, which previously awarded based on success and growth in the preceding year, today’s Constructech 50 is a collection of the most prominent construction technology providers with a strong and ongoing market presence.
This year, however, the process was a little bit different. Constructech required that companies be nominated for this prestigious award. This could include a company nominating itself through a ballot or a third-party nominating the company.
Once the technology company was nominated, the Constructech editors underwent a rigorous judging process, which involved research, interviews with the technology companies, consultations with members of the Constructech editorial advisory board, and engaging in conversations with customers about ongoing relationships about meeting market demands.
The criteria this year changed a bit too. Constructech no longer just looks at a company that has a strong and ongoing presence in the market. It also considers what companies are driving innovative change. It is no longer about the stalwarts.
Now that the construction industry is in the midst of a data-driven world, technology providers can no longer be stalwarts anymore. They have to me big thinkers that are moving quickly to meet the needs of an ever-changing society.
With this change, this year’s list brings 14 new players into the mix. These companies have strong management teams, with a big vision for the future of construction technology, in addition to offering quality products for the market.
That is what differentiates the Constructech 50 from others—the list looks beyond the product and marketing hype to the core of the company to recognize the 50 organizations that are driving the pack and bringing a unique perspective to the construction industry.
Some other observations about the list include the fact that some of the largest companies still hold top spots on the Constructech 50 proving to be big thinkers. In other cases, some companies are not the biggest, but are proving to be the brightest visionaries.
Another change on this year’s list is the fact that companies that have been acquired—but still operate independently—qualify to appear on the list. Constructech has discovered that many acquired companies are continuing to operate independently long after the acquisition occurs, and if it continues to stand on its own, innovate, and drive change in the space, each individual operating company can be named to the list.
At the end of the day, this is a compilation to help corporate owners, general contractors, homebuilders, and subcontractors identify the most outstanding tech players in the space and identify where the market is headed.
On the pages that follow are expanded profiles of some of the companies, which include the quotes that you have come to rely on that explain why the technology company was selected to the Constructech 50.
New this year is the Company Scoreboard, which features the technology company’s most prominent stats and highlights from the year, and the Market Movers, which identifies what makes the company innovative and demonstrates its vision for the future. Each adjustment is to help you see the market during these rapidly changing times.
These are the companies that are innovating and driving change, and they are seeking to be your best tech partner when it comes to implementation for the future.
2017 Constructech 50
*Color denotes the company has an expanded profile
Click on company to view expanded profile
Jonas Construction Software
Topcon Positioning Systems