Hello 2019: 3 Areas to Watch in Construction Technology for the Sub-Contractor in the Coming Year

Hello 2019: 3 Areas to Watch in Construction Technology for the Sub-Contractor in the Coming Year

The construction industry is changing. As demand increases, Project Managers, Detailers and their corresponding Field counterparts, particularly at the Sub-Contractor level, must get increasingly creative with time management.

Today, being efficient is no longer a luxury or a simple nice-to-have. Instead, it’s a necessity for anyone who expects to survive in the modern market. Fortunately, people are starting to see this.

In 2018 alone, Autodesk made two huge acquisitions (totaling $1.15B) in our industry, which is a signal that legitimizes this construction technology movement as one that will (finally) change the industry for the better, as far as productivity, efficiency, and simplicity are concerned.

Here’s what our industry can look forward to in 2019 and the coming years:

Top 3 Areas in Construction Technology to Watch in 2019

The construction technology industry is fluid right now, and it’s changing all the time. While there are many exciting things to watch for, these three shifts will mark 2019:

1. Cloud and Mobile Apps

One of top software review sites is watching at least 50 ‘construction and field management’ mobile apps that do everything from tracking field time to creating daily reports and viewing drawings. These all depend on the cloud to function, and they represent some of the more innovative things to hit the industry this year.

As it stands now, it’s safe to assume that 2019 will see a bloom of cloud and mobile apps aimed at the construction industry. This upward trend in mobile apps is a sign that trade and craftworkers are starting to revise their old patterns of thinking, and adopt new technology as a road toward productivity.

2. Construction Technology is ‘Sexy’; (and it’s becoming a $2B+ Sector)

The last two years have seen significant acquisitions from Autodesk, Trimble, and Oracle, plus massive funding for later stage startups like Procore and Katerra, along with newer upstarts such as Structionsite,Assignar, Rhumbix, and Prescient. These things all go to show that construction technology is hot right now and that investors are scrambling to get involved.

Need more proof? Here’s a breakdown of investments in the construction technology industry (from CrunchBase) year-over-year:

As you can see, 3Q funding in 2018 is up by 348% compared to 2017. Those are massively promising numbers.

3. BIM

While not necessarily new, it’s refreshing to see the trades embrace this technology. We’ve seen a noticeable increase in attendance from the trades at events like Autodesk University and the JBK ConTech Roadshows. We’ve also seen some great BIM training programs coming out of the trades.

“It’s critical we keep up with all the innovative things in our industry, especially as more of those innovations impact the daily lives of our members…these events are great to stay up to date. The challenge now is trying to decide which event(s) to attend as there are so many good ones to choose from!
— Stephan Schnell, Technology Supervisor for UA Local 467

As trades embrace BIM, it works as a reliable sign that construction technology is making its way out to “the edge,” where productivity has traditionally been a stigma for the industry.

Conclusion

At DADO, we have conducted more than 300 interviews with industry professionals — ranging from apprentices to owners. Throughout this research, it became evident that, while current construction technology is starting to change the industry, we need to better connect the modern craft worker to the people and information they draw on for efficient building projects. Fortunately, we believe that these ‘construction technology areas to watch’ will make 2019 a transformative year in the industry, and we are excited to be part of the change!

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