Story at a glance:

  • Construction companies can benefit from streamlined process in the cloud.
  • Ignoring software updates could be putting your company at risk.

Technology has produced significant gains in construction. From robotics to drones to artificial intelligence and everything in between, the possibilities are endless.

When we think of how technology has transformed the industry, we often think of cutting-edge technologies. However, everyday technologies like the cloud have also made great strides in increasing efficiency, streamlining processes, and improving collaboration.

Investing in the right technologies can be a game changer for construction businesses, but it is important to choose carefully as some solutions can actually end up hampering progress.

Identifying the Issue

Most businesses are thorough when it comes to researching and selecting new technology solutions. And for good reason. It is imperative that AEC firms select the right solutions to address their business needs. Just because a solution works wonders for one business doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good fit for you. While most businesses give plenty attention to this crucial process, many are not dedicating enough time to technology maintenance and assessing how solutions work as part of their complete tech stack.

How do you know if your tech needs attention? If your technology is outdated, unintegrated, and underutilized it’s probably holding you back and could even be putting your business at risk. For technology to run optimally and deliver maximum benefits, it should be updated regularly, integrated with your other solutions, and fully utilized.

Regular Updates


Photo courtesy of Sage

It can be tempting to snooze reminders when it’s time to update your software and operating systems. While updates can be time-consuming and often pop up right when you’re in the middle of something, they are critical and should not be ignored. Updates can include everything from new features to bug fixes to security enhancements. Keeping your technology solutions updated enables you to access all of a solution’s capabilities and also helps keep your data safe.

As part of your regular technology maintenance it is important to make sure your data is backed up. Ideally most of your data is automatically backed up by a cloud solution or cloud storage service. However, any data that is stored on your device should be backed up daily, or at a minimum, weekly. It is also essential to have an up-to-date disaster recovery plan in place in the event of an outage or natural disaster.

Integrated Solutions

A common problem construction companies face is the use of multiple, unintegrated software solutions by project and financial teams to capture the same project information—like project budgets and subcontracts. The use of disparate systems creates a “double entry” environment, wasting time and labor. Manual data entry is not only time-consuming but also prone to errors.

More technology vendors are beginning to recognize that it benefits the entire construction industry when they can integrate their solutions with the other solutions available on the market. When selecting new solutions, you should look for those with an open application programming interface (API). This allows the systems to easily communicate with one another to help make integrations between the solutions as seamless as possible.

At Sage we strongly believe in the power of choice, that is, giving customers the flexibility to use the right mix of solutions that address their unique business needs. We’ve long championed better integration and a more standardized approach to construction technology and are involved with organizations like the Construction Progress Coalition, which works to improve project delivery by connecting stakeholders through a Common Data Exchange. Our open API and partnership with an increasing number of vendors on the Sage Intacct Marketplace strengthen this commitment.
When cloud-based technology solutions are integrated, teams can be sure they are all relying on the same accurate, real-time data. The time saved on manual data entry can be used to focus on strategy and long-term growth.

Technology Utilization

The right solutions can only get you so far. If your teams are not fully utilizing their capabilities you cannot gain all of the benefits. When selecting new technology solutions it is critical to set aside adequate time for implementation and training. The implementation process can be time consuming so be sure to set proper expectations and remember that it is a marathon not a sprint. Your teams will be managing their regular workloads while trying to learn a new system, so be patient and allow some breathing room.

Proper training is also essential. Many technology providers include at least some level of training or work with partners to deliver more in-depth trainings. You don’t want to cut corners here as your technology investment won’t pay off if teams don’t know how to use the new solutions.

It is also important to remember that this is an ongoing process. Consider vendors who have on-demand trainings so users can learn about new features or refresh their skills and more easily onboard new employees.


Technology has transformed the way we build and will continue to have a lasting impact on the AEC space. As you select and implement new technology, ensure it is the right fit for your business and that it is regularly maintained and fully utilized. It is well worth the time spent as it will help you get the best return from your technology investment.

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gb&dPRO members are recognized experts in their fields and contribute opinion columns as one of their member benefits. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and may not reflect the view of gb&d. We are committed to a diversity of voices advocating for high-performing, sustainable built environment practices. We’d like to hear what you think about this article or any of our other coverage. Send us an email at [email protected].