A study of 2,604 construction professionals by JBKnowledge in conjunction with Texas A&M’s construction science department and the Construction Financial Management Association finds the share of AEC companies spending 1% or less of annual sales on IT continues to grow, increasing from 45% in 2015 to 70% in 2016.
Construction firms are making increased use of cloud-enabled technologies. The most common cloud-enabled systems used by respondents include invitation to bid (36.1%), project management (28.3%), field data collection (27.2%) and CRM platforms (21.2%), according to the survey.
Mobile technologies are reaching critical mass for day-to-day construction operations, with 79.3% of respondents indicating mobile was either important or very important. By comparison, 20.7% of respondents said mobile technologies were not important for their business, down from 41.1% who said the same in the 2012 version of the survey.
This is the fifth-annual iteration of the report, and even in just half a decade, the study is tracking notable shifts in the AEC technology landscape as mobile and cloud driven solutions replace arcane paper processes that have dominated design-build for generations. According to the survey, field-data collection and project management are dominating both the cloud and mobile software sectors.
Mobile operating systems are also in flux. While iOS continues to be used on more than 65% of mobile devices, Windows has seen a surge in use in the last year, which the study authors attribute to the Surface Pro 4 Tablet release in October 2015.
Continued consolidation of systems seems likely in the near future. The number of software applications deployed by survey respondents has been on a steady decline since the study began in 2012, when most construction companies were using more than six software applications. In 2016, the use of two software applications was the most common answer, with fewer respondents using more than four systems.