Jennifer Heikkinen, Senior Project Manager, recently attended Constructech Magazine’s Technology Day in San Mateo California. Her synopsis of the event:
A variety of construction stakeholders attended the event including Architects, Project Managers, VDC Directors, Technology Vendors and IT Directors for the A/E/C industry. The theme of the event was Flash Forward IT, a focus on upcoming technology in the A/E/C industry as mobility, collaboration, and virtualization are changing the way the world works.
There were a number of interesting ideas on how the industry will respond to the upcoming paradigm shifts that technology will push forward in the A/E/C Industry:
- The rise of the “Innovation Committee”. The Innovation Committee should include members from all business units and all generations. The innovation committee should look for ways to improve business processes and client service. It should focus not just on technology but also safety and sustainability. For example the following are examples of green innovations facilitated by IT at Air Systems Inc., and EMCOR company:
- Wireless/ Cordless Mobile Scanners that allow scan to smart phones on both iPhone and Android platforms. A green mobile solution improving field productivity
- Logitech solar powered keyboards – Saving energy while eliminating battery waste of traditional wireless keyboards
- Sugarmade treeless paper
- As mobility grows, CMs will be expected to provide clients with data-rich, daily mobile updates on project progress
- Technology will become embedded in building products – what technology will be most beneficial during design and construction? During the building lifecycle?
- Will mini-apps, those designed for specific functions, take the place of full scale Enterprise Resource Planning Systems? Can this trend increase productivity / simplify training / reduce budgets?
- We will face more trade-offs between IT security and technology utility. This will create interesting challenges as employees begin to desire the ability to BYOD (bring your own devices) to their work environment. Will it be possible for IT departments to standardize on one mobile platform? Is standardization on one platform even desirable?
- One speaker projected that in the next 5 years our IT Departments will become business analyst in lieu of behind the scenes support staff. This will require the robust technical expertise that we expect from our IT professionals but also a deep understanding of front line processes.
The day ended with the “Vision Awards”. I was honored to accept the Gold Vision Award on behalf of Tocci for our program management work on the ACKS projects. Also recognized as technology enablers for the ACKS projects were:
Design Data – SDS/2: Recognized for enabling the model based steel submittal review processes utilized on 50 Binney, 100 Binney, and 225 Binney projects
Autodesk: Recognized for multiple products enabling collaborative design and construction coordination processes as well as field mobility solutions on all of the ACKS projects.
Bentley Systems – Project Wise: Recognized for their file sharing collaboration platform used by all ACKS projects
Trimble: Recognized for direct from model layout tools used by the MEP/FP contractors on the 225 Binney Project