In the past, the construction industry was among the least digitized. However, according to recent reports the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation efforts at construction firms around the world.
As technology becomes a more integral part of construction operations, firms are beginning to prioritize IT. According to one report, half of all construction firms have a dedicated IT department. Additionally, 65% of firms have 1-5 employees dedicated to IT and 30% of firms increased their IT staff over the last year.
Now, more and more firms are turning to IT tools like mobile devices and software-as-a-service applications to simplify their operations, cut costs, and spur innovation. However, with increased reliance on IT tools come risks in the form of data breaches. Let's take a look at latest tech trends in the industry and how measures like SaaS protection can ensure newly digitized firms are protected.
Increased Reliance on Mobile Devices and Apps
Mobile devices have become essential to construction contractors. According to one report, 92% of firms use smartphones, 83% use laptops, and 65% use tablets. The report indicates that the majority of organizations are using mobile devices in the field to view BIM models, view project documents, create project documentation, enter time for payroll, and more.
Reliance on applications is increasing as well. According to the report, 63% of construction firms are using at least three apps regularly and 22% are using as many as six apps daily.
Among the most popular SaaS apps on the list were Dropbox, which was used by 40% of firms; Sharepoint, which was used by 33% of firms; and Google Drive, which was used by 22% of firms. Another popular app is Procore, which was listed as the top mobile app for managing time and capturing and managing photos and videos. Contractors also cited Bluebeam as a top application for a number of tasks including viewing BIM files and managing plans.
Cloud Computing is Fundamental
Nearly a decade ago, a survey of construction contractors found that only 16% of contractors felt cloud computing was important to their business. Five years later, a similar survey found that 85% of contractors had already implemented or were planning to implement cloud-based solutions.
Now those plans have largely come to fruition. According to one report, 92% of organizations say their IT environment is at least somewhat in the cloud today and only 8% say their total IT environment is all on-premises.
Today, many construction firms are relying on cloud-based SaaS applications for digital collaboration. Such tools allow users to access and update design drawings, punch lists, schedules, and other critical project documents from any location. Collaborative cloud applications enable streamlined, real time communication between workers in the office and in the field, while also keeping other stakeholders like architects, suppliers, building product manufacturers, building inspectors, and subcontractors in the loop.
Data Security and management remains a challenge
According to a report, 13% of construction firms experienced a data security breach in 2020. Yet, despite the risk to construction contractors, the majority of firms (66%) are relying on employee training for data security. Another 10% of firms say they’re not using any data security solution at all.
In addition to security challenges, construction firms continue to face issues with data management. Half of all firms are still manually transferring data between applications when those applications are not integrated; and 44% of firms are transferring data via spreadsheets.
These challenges illustrate the importance of having a SaaS backup solution. When it comes to securing data against loss in the event of a breach, or ensuring data isn’t lost during a manual transfer, construction contractors need a SaaS protection solution. As previously discussed, contractors are increasingly relying on applications like Sharepoint for document management. Having a Sharepoint backup ensures critical project data is always accessible in the event of an outage or cyber attack.
How Backupify Protects the Construction Industry
Backupify is an all-inclusive solution that offers SaaS protection of essential construction applications like Sharepoint and Google Drive. Our cloud-to-cloud backup solution adds an extra layer of security in the event of data loss due to a security breach or failed manual data integrations. With backups performed three times daily, contractors can be confident the essential data they rely on will always be at their fingertips.