How technology solutions position the construction industry to overcome market challenges
Digital tools such as Verizon Connect are used to manage vehicle fleets and assets, as well as to improve driver safety.
Despite a booming construction market, the industry has experienced unique challenges and has had to adapt quickly to a variety of sudden changes brought on by the pandemic. These challenges include global supply chain issues and a glaring shortage of skilled labor.
These challenges are overcome with the help of technology, which can do it all, from automated invoicing and streamlined business functions, to accelerating the design process with 5G to bring diagrams and plans to life through the technology of augmented and virtual reality.
At the small and medium-sized business level, one of the main drivers of this future success is the widespread adoption of new digital tools and technologies that not only improve the customer experience, but create new business opportunities. The technology is used by construction companies to recruit a skilled workforce and improve the customer experience.
Verizon EnterpriseFor example, the Verizon Connect fleet management software and solution is used to manage a construction company‘s fleet of vehicles and assets, as well as to improve driver safety through the use of oriented video cameras. forward and backward. Construction companies are also using automation to electronically streamline their workflow for job routing, job description, and electronic point of sale.
In a recent Verizon small business survey, nearly two in three decision makers (63%) at various small and medium businesses across the country said they had gone digital in 2021. That’s a 10% increase from to the previous year. In addition, the survey showed rapid growth in technology adoption since August 2020, with more small and medium businesses having purchased and implemented high capacity internet (52% vs. 27% in the ‘previous survey) to help offset a labor shortage.
Make digital connections with a skilled workforce
While many construction companies have already adopted some form of construction technology to streamline their day-to-day processes, most are used for the digital design phase and project management tasks of these companies, including everything from l 3D printing with digital collaboration tools.
Still, there is an opportunity to use this technology to digitally connect with the highly skilled workforce needed to keep construction projects on track. This will be critical given that Associated Builders and Contractors estimates that construction companies will need to hire 430,000 workers this year and 1 million more over the next two years to manage demand.
New AI applications can also optimize planning with algorithms to help employers assess the size of a team they need at different times to improve efficiency.
Cybersecurity, a growing concern
While technology solutions have helped companies across industries scale and scale their businesses over the past few years, things like the increase in remote working and the shift to digital operations have posed security risks. important for employees who are not yet familiar with the practice of good cybersecurity. hygiene. This corresponds to the 14th Annual Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), an analysis of 29,207 security incidents, of which 5,258 are breaches confirmed by 83 contributors around the world. This marked a 33% year-over-year increase in violations analyzed from 2020.
The combination of malicious actors taking advantage of inputs such as malware or hacking and user errors highlights the need to anchor security throughout the organization. With more employees operating outside the corporate network, providing the right training will be more important than ever in helping businesses reduce human error – which has caused 17% of breaches according to the DBIR report.
Fortunately, this lesson is learned. The survey found that 59% of small and midsize business owners said they will need multi-factor connections to access systems over the next year, while 56% trained employees on best practices. cybersecurity to ensure security, which means small and medium enterprises in all industries. prepare to use the technology safely.
A better future ahead
While small and medium-sized businesses are typically the last to bounce back from a financial crisis like the one we experienced during COVID-19, advancements in technology mean this time around it will be different. Already, we are seeing examples of disruptive technological innovations becoming available to small and medium-sized businesses in ways that were never possible before.
For example, Verizon recently partnered with Mastercard on a 5G contactless payment system for consumers and small and medium businesses. The alliance, which aims to produce innovations by 2023, enables companies to use emerging payment technologies to:
- transform smartphones into cash registers,
- transform connected objects such as watches into payment devices,
- and facilitate contactless retailing similar to Amazon Go stores.
Verizon has also continued to expand the availability of our 5G business internet since the onset of the pandemic, providing the connection backbone on which businesses can run their operations. Construction companies across the country are leveraging Verizon Business Internet, a fixed wireless access option for reliable and secure broadband connectivity, to power remote job sites and a remote workforce.
So it is perhaps not surprising that despite these persistent obstacles, the construction industry appears poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever, with a global market worth more than 8 trillion. dollars by 2030, according to the Global Construction Perspective and Oxford Economics. With technology to help small and medium businesses rebuild, the future looks bright.
Mark Tina is vice president of corporate sales, Verizon Business.