- Software company Oracle announced Sunday its intentions to buy cloud-based construction management software company Aconex for $1.2 billion, according to USA Today.
- The acquisition is expected to augment Oracle's current cloud management services for construction and engineering, a $14 trillion industry according to Oracle.
- Aconex's shareholders still must approve the deal, but the two companies expect the transaction to close sometime in the first half of 2018.
In April of last year, Oracle made an all-cash purchase of cloud-based construction payment services company Textura for $663 million. At the time of the acquisition, Textura was processing more than $3.4 billion a month in payments for 85,000 users representing more than 6,000 projects. To accommodate both the newly-acquired company and its Primavera project management business, Oracle then created another new business unit.
Construction technology companies including those, like Autodesk, that have been staples of the industry since before the internet changed business operations, are acting on the growing need to move toward cloud-based operations. Contractors, according to an Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Outlook Finds study, feel the same. As of January, the survey reported, 59% of contractors said they were either already using or planned to use cloud-based software.
In order to take advantage of the conveniences of the cloud, everyone from office staff to field construction managers must be on board, a connection that might have been impossible without the proliferation of smartphones. In an industry known for slow adoption of certain technologies, almost everyone has become comfortable with smartphones through personal use, making the transition to professional use a less daunting proposition. Edward Farraye of Fieldwire told Construction Dive last year that familiarity with smartphones and iPads has made field adoption of the company's applications much easier.
With an increasingly connected job site and a growing shift toward the cloud, project teams will be better able optimize their operations, reducing project timelines and limiting the potential for error.