The technology needs of the construction industry today are changing. What keeps the CIO up at night these days is far different than even just five years ago. Some of these tech trends include emerging mobile technologies, the evolution of ERP (enterprise-resource planning), BIM (building information modeling), IoT (Internet of Things), big data, and beyond. Perhaps it’s time to really dive into the top five tech trends in the construction industry today.

Mobile: The Next Generation
Let’s preface the conversation by stating the construction industry has always been mobile. That is not new. What is new are the emergence of smartphones, tablets, apps, and BYOD (bring your own device). Just 10 years ago, many in the construction industry were still using pen and paper. Some early adopters were leveraging emails on a Blackberry or PTT (push-to-talk). However, today nearly every construction worker has a very powerful tool in his or her own pocket—a smartphone. Effectively leveraging the data on a smartphone is where the challenge arises.

ERP: New Needs Today
The construction industry has been talking about how to effectively leverage ERP (enterprise-resource planning) software for more than a decade. While the term has its roots in manufacturing, construction has adapted the technology to meet its needs. However, today, technology is changing more rapidly than in the past. With the ever-evolving needs of the jobsite, ERP is also changing. Still, having integrated data across a business provides big value and is essential.

BIM: Beyond the Basics
BIM certainly isn’t a new trend in construction. Models have been around for decades, and BIM has been around for years. However, the benefits of BIM extend far beyond just clash detection and visualization. The model contains data that is necessary to plan projects, but can also extend to other construction processes such as scheduling, estimating, and more. Today, the same model data used during construction can also be used throughout the lifecycle of a facility.

IoT: Construction Becomes Connected
Wearables, augmented reality, robotics. These are all just a few examples of how connected devices are going to transform the construction industry in the future. The IoT (Internet of Things) is poised to change how work is done at the construction jobsite. The challenge is identifying how these next-generation devices will disrupt the construction industry, and how they can be leveraged to improve business processes.

Data: Opportunities and Solutions
Today alternative project delivery is becoming more common, with P3 (public-private partnerships) as one example. Navigating how to work with all the different stakeholders involved in this type of project is challenging—as is managing all the project data among the various project participants. The good news is technology is evolving; it is simply a matter of determining how to leverage collaboration software.

These are the top five tech trends facing the construction industry today—and will be key areas of discussion at this year’s Technology Day event, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Schaumburg, Ill.

This year’s event will take a closer look at the need, the technology, the benefits, the status, the barriers, contact points, and the references that make technology adoption and implementation a reality.

I encourage you to attend this year’s event, as we bring together some of the top technology minds in the construction industry to discuss trends, challenges, and solutions.

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