SaaS for Construction Technology: A Key Step in Digital Transformation
June 15, 2023
For many years, studies have been reporting the relative lack of using the latest technology in the construction sector. One of the most cited reports comes from McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, where they calculate that technology can improve productivity by up to 50%. They have summarized that technology can be leveraged to provide the following benefits:
- Increased efficiency and reduce costs.
- Improved safety
- Better collaboration among various stakeholders
- Transformation of the way projects are built and delivered
- Optimize performance and profitability using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence
They state that for this transformation to take place and the benefits realized, successful technology adoption requires collaboration and a willingness to embrace digital tools and solutions. One of the first and easiest ways to start this transformation is with SaaS software.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It refers to the cloud-based delivery model of software applications, where users can access and use software applications over the internet without having to install or maintain them on their own computers or servers.
Most companies already use this for daily applications such as Microsoft Office 365, customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce and most enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for accounting, such as SAP.
However, outside of these main business areas, construction companies are still very often utilizing on-premise software for their operational business. This may include the desktop or on-premise licenses of Excel or older legacy commercial products for estimation and cost controls, as well as file storage and management of documents on a laptop or within the company server.
Making the Transition
Moving to SaaS is not actually a big leap. Many suggest that is the easiest step in the transformation process as benefits are quickly realized. SaaS offers construction companies a range of benefits that can help construction companies to improve their operations, increase their competitiveness, and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing industry. These benefits include:
- Access to advanced technology without the need for significant upfront investments in hardware and software licenses; use of solutions that are highly scalable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different construction projects.
- Quicker start up that other solutions as SaaS products are typically designed to be user-friendly and require minimal training, making them accessible to a broader range of users
- Connection to software and data from any device with an internet connection, improving collaboration and communication among team members, regardless of their location.
- Software that is updated easily supported by the vendor, which means that construction companies don’t need to worry about software updates or maintenance tasks, reducing the burden on IT staff and allow construction companies to focus on their core business activities.
With mobile devices and wireless connectivity more reliable and pervasive than ever, some processes companies should be using either aren’t possible or are outdated when performed specifically with on-premise solutions.
Getting the Most Out of Your Data
The analytics available with the real-time data, optimized for SaaS software, make a difference on project performance and profitability. Additionally, the security provided by the datacenters and software vendors continue to reduce concerns about risk.
Many companies, however, not just in construction, are resistant to make this full SaaS commitment. While SaaS offers many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks that organizations should be aware of.
Some of the main drawbacks to SaaS include dependence on an internet connection, security concerns, lack of customization, data control, subscription costs. It is important for organizations to be aware of the potential drawbacks and to assess whether the advantages of using SaaS outweigh the risks and costs.
Planning for a Bright Future
Ultimately, what should your construction company do? Like all other sectors, technology must be leveraged to stay competitive and meet stringent requirements on scope, budget and schedule. Those that have not integrated technology into their company will find themselves behind in their market.
Like implementing satellite technology for surveying, using drones, or establishing a BIM program, movement to SaaS has arrived and companies are making this transition. SaaS is fast becoming the standard and those that do not move to SaaS software are finding themselves behind the curve.
Use of mobile apps, improvement collaboration, better system integration, and establishing a common data environment all require movement to SaaS software. If you have not already moved to SaaS software, now is the time to begin the transition. Don’t get caught behind.
Ready to take a deeper dive? Schedule a one-on-one consultation to find out how InEight can help you succeed in your construction digitalization journey.
 The Next Normal in Construction: How Disruption Is Reshaping The World’s Largest Ecosystem, McKinsey & Company, June, 2020.
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