Construction Technology: Making the Case for Integration
By James Benham, President of JBKnowledge, Makers of SmartBidNet
Publish in Construction Business Owner
January 1, 2014
Of the 700 construction professionals who participated in JBKnowledge’s 2013 Construction Technology Integration (CTI) Survey, 82.8 percent said that the integration of their software products is important to overall efficiency. So why is it that only 29 percent of those contractors say that more than two of their software solutions actually integrate? And why do 89 percent settle for using spreadsheets or other manual processes to transfer data between software solutions that do not integrate?
The members of the Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA), twelve construction technology providers, argue that those questions have two answers. First, end users are not demanding the same integration for their business technology that they receive from their consumer technology. Second, technology providers are not stepping up to the plate to provide it.
When asked why he thought construction technology providers have not been more focused on integration, Mark Patterson, CIO at S. M. Wilson & Co, said, “For many established vendors in the industry, they seem to want to meet all the customers’ needs with home-grown products. Integration with other providers’ products appears to be an afterthought, and developing application programming interfaces (APIs) gets fewer resources. We have even seen this problem exist when vendors have acquired companies to fill a perceived gap. They promote the product but focus on marketing before integration.”
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