Building productive IT Infrastructure post-Covid
The Covid-19 lockdown has significantly impacted businesses operating in the construction industry, with several non-essential building projects being placed on hold.
Now, as the sector begins to adapt to a new normal, we examine how technology will be paramount in enabling the construction industry’s future.
Covid-19, whilst challenging, has opened the eyes of those in the construction industry. They can now see how technology is beneficial to accelerated business growth. A recent report revealed that 66 per cent of construction companies rolled out new technology during the pandemic.
Numerous construction companies are investing in new IT infrastructure to ensure they remain connected, productive and secure. However, some businesses need to execute a digital transformation strategy now to avoid being left behind. In doing so, they can survive in a post-Covid world where remote working, virtual site visits and social distancing has become the norm.
Keeping your IT infrastructure connected
Most construction companies are currently facing a hybrid working model, with workers either on site, working from home or in an office. This brings its own challenges, such as communication and server accessibility or flexibility. It has seen many businesses migrate to a cloud solution.
If planned and executed successfully with the business outcomes in mind, a cloud-based digital infrastructure is an effective IT infrastructure solution. This is where a public, private or hybrid cloud platforms hosts some or all of a business’ applications and resources.
Cloud-based solutions can be managed either in-house or by an IT managed service provider like Timico. It enables each employee to operate, function and communicate with other construction sites and workers from any location and across multiple device options for mobility.
A cloud solution is an agile and valuable resource for employees. It enables them to be more productive, freeing their time for other key projects if required. It also reduces the cost of expensive servers and maintenance, and security mechanisms or other in-house data centre equipment.
The UK Government gave the green light for all construction workers to return to building sites in May. However, the way of working had changed significantly. Smaller groups of workers were deployed and unless necessary, site visits or meetings were not allowed.
Therefore, virtual site visits became one way of enabling quality control and problem solving without requiring a person to be at a construction site. Contractors and managers can observe a walk-through tour, recorded via a web-based video conferencing application. The employee can provide greater input on the project. This means that developments have a greater probability of successfully completing on time and on budget, despite the restrictions caused by Covid-19.
Face to face meetings have also become less desirable or needed with remote meetings and video conferencing available. Online platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom saw tremendous growth when the UK first went into lockdown. In March 2020, Teams becoming the fastest growing Microsoft application in history.
With added voice functionality included in Microsoft Teams Voice, remote workers can access business telephone numbers and functionality wherever they are. Video conferencing allows them to call colleagues and associates outside their organisation and present documents. This helps increase productivity while keeping communication avenues open.
With large data files, blueprints and sensitive information being continuously shared between sites and offices, it has never been more important to protect a construction company’s IT infrastructure. Every business is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It is vital to have the right security solutions in place to protect data, with ongoing threat monitoring and detection.
This has never been more important with remote working. Have you protected your employees working from home? Do you have safe data-transfer applications in place? Are you providing employees with training on best cyber security practices? These are crucial considerations for construction companies with multiple building sites, offices and employees working remotely.
Microsoft 365 is a cloud solution that allows simultaneous secure document access and editing. IT solution providers can also provide additional protection through firewalls and managed security applications. This will keep companies further protected from unwanted attacks or threats.
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has dramatically changed how the construction industry operates, accelerating the execution of technologies in the process. With more companies looking to adopt a hybrid way of working, the advancement of IT infrastructure will continue to grow. Now is the time to adopt and adapt to new processes.
If you would like Timico to help you with your requirements, book in your free consultation today and speak with the experts about your IT infrastructure.