If you are reading this, it is highly likely you have been investigating the options available in the paradigm of construction software and have undoubtedly come across some of the popular names, the highlighted features and even reviewed a number of case studies from end users. To aid your research quest in selecting the best choice for your business, this article focuses on five key considerations.
- The Cloud?
It is only recently that the consideration for “cloud based” solutions is now a more mainstream idea. In the past the idea of utilising the cloud would have been only for the most tech-minded millennial trend setters. These days, however, cloud based solutions are becoming more mainstream. You will discover that there are many cost based implications to consider if you are beginning with a cloud-based solution, that will give you long term savings within an organisation that is expanding at a rapid rate. Likewise, the reverse could be true in a situation in which an in-house solution grants user growth with more favourable contracted rates. In some cases providers will offer both solutions affording you the flexibility to switch between cloud and in-house, depending on your needs. One of the important considerations regarding cloud technology, is understanding how your organisation’s data is stored and what type of access and ownership rights you have. There is also concern regarding the impact that changing providers in the future may entail, specifically, the data you have entrusted to your software partner.
2. User Experience
Users can be put into two categories – those who adapt to any new tech or gadgets like a duck to water whereas others find it takes a significantly longer time to learn the fundamentals. It is crucial to be mindful of the level of complexity that your software is designed to operate with, and the scope of projects across which it will be used. With regard to your business there are also size and structure issues that will need to be considered. For example, a small sub-contractor dealing with a particular small-scale part of a project will not require the overwhelming power of the most comprehensive platforms. Conversely, a world leading construction giant will need everything that drives benefits and ROI across all areas. It is important to note that not all users will require the same levels of access and the level of sophistication can be proportionate with the users’ needs. Ideally the software should be fit-for-purpose and be able to perform its principal role. In essence the user experience will need to be relative to the complexity and diversity of an individual’s specific role, without being unnecessarily difficult to use. Construction software solutions are designed and developed by construction experts to be used by construction professionals. The result of this effort enabled the user experience to be better aligned with user capabilities and knowledge.
3. Does Construction Software Solutions Integrate With Other Systems?
New software will provide significant enhancements and substantial efficiencies within the process and procedures of your organisations. What the software shouldn’t do is create barriers and obstacles to other areas of your business. The capacity of software to integrate with your existing solutions, is as important as the end results delivered by your software. It is imperative that you check your software performs in delivering elements such as workflow management, financial tracking and reporting, assigns user roles and incorporates electronic signatures. Essentially, you need to be aware of how the software will perform on a daily basis and understand the benefit from each departments’ and stakeholders’ perspective to enable the best possible integration.
4. What is the Real Cost of Construction Software Solutions?
Articles relating to construction software solutions are inevitably going to lead to the specific question of cost. This ‘cost’ refers to the acquisition to buy or lease construction software, and even the cost not to do so, or in some cases the cost of not upgrading. Within the business world, cost is not necessarily a linear consideration as value is rarely aligned directly to an initial cost. Of particular importance is the idea of base price which needs to be considered, to make sure you are getting the best value. The most reputable software partners will assist you in the endeavour rather than shy away from it, so you categorically get what you need for your business. Software partners will often investigate your structure to gain a basis and understand the needs of your business. From this information they can derive whether you require a maximum number of users or individual named users. They can also assess whether you require a pool of user access or dedicated access.
5. The Benefit of Reputation?
The process of changing and integrating any new construction software is a major change. If you are currently considering this it would indicate you may have already identified the benefits from both an operational and financial perspective, but it is important you are teaming up with the right partner. Investigate their track record and see where your potential partners’, clients and competitors have invested. It is necessary to also check that they have relevant and up to date testimonials. These testimonials will ensure you learn user feedback and you can see how others have made the choice and if they are happy with the results.