CMiC Construction and Capital Project Management Blog

What makes the ultimate enterprise app?

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 02:14 PM

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What makes the ultimate enterprise app?

Now that the lines between the consumer arena and the enterprise are blurring more than ever before, business leaders are finding it more difficult to discern what constitutes a true corporate software application. While it may not seem like a major point of contention, it's actually quite important that decision-makers recognize the characteristics of an authentic enterprise app and ensure that their organizations only deploy these services to ensure maximum security and performance. Here are a handful of criteria that must be considered in the app selection process:

1. Strong vertical specificity: The primary difference between enterprise applications and their consumer counterparts is that the former tend to be built with a specific industry and purpose in mind, while the latter are engineered for general, low-stakes use. For example, a personal file-sharing solution may be developed with a handful of helpful organizational features for the typical user, while the enterprise version will include a range of vertical-centric file structures and workflows for particular industry operations. Of course, leaders must find the solution right for their needs. 

2. Cross-platform capabilities: Whether it needs to be accessed in the back office, on the road or at the construction site itself, an authentic enterprise application will offer the same set of powerful features no matter the situation. This means that the software must be engineered with cross-platform dynamics in mind, as well as the ability to synchronize data sets across every user device imaginable. As Enterprise Apps Today pointed out, a business should also be ready to create a comprehensive mobile environment for managers, supervisors and all ground-level employees. 

"Users are looking for apps that don't just allow them to look up information in separate data sources; they are looking for seamless interactions with their enterprise that enable them to get stuff done," said Peter Price, CEO of Webalo. "I want to approve employee-related requests from my smartphone or tablet, like expenses on paid time off."

3. On and offline functionality: Every construction manager knows that on the job site, Internet connections come and go. However, strong enterprise apps are capable of overcoming the ebb and flow of Web connectivity, maintaining its essential functionality regardless of Wi-Fi status. On the other hand, consumer-grade apps are only capable of running when a connection is available. Construction teams that can rely on enterprise apps at all times are sure to achieve higher levels of performance than competitors with outdated solutions. 

4. Total IT department control: Consumer apps, while easy to download and deploy, often fall short when it comes time for IT administrators to customize the solutions for unique business needs and end-user preferences. The ability to tweak the functionality of a software system is sure sign that an application is geared for the enterprise, and a company will find much more long-term value in such solutions, especially as technical demands evolve over time. It's better to have a flexible, full-featured software deployment than one that must be completely updated every few months. 

Tags: Construction Technology

Software for next-level construction collaboration

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

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Software for next-level construction collaboration

Collaboration is essential for success in a construction industry that demands precise coordination across teams both within the organization and aligned with external subcontractor groups. While upper-level leaders know the importance of top-down control over job site and back office operations, there is an alarming lack of support from the IT department in their efforts to fully coordinate tasks and objectives throughout the project life cycle. What can be done to ensure that multiple contracts move forward in total synchronization and unity?

In short, the answer can be found in next-gen construction software solutions, namely those that feature collaborative options for design, ERP and project management modules. Companies will find that when they prioritize accessibility across these software environments, their operations will naturally move toward a more efficient and productive standard, bridging communication gaps and promoting more transparent leadership from the upper management. Here is a closer look at these three spheres of construction software and how they can boost collaboration across the board:

Planning and design
Perhaps the most challenging phase in which to coordinate construction operations is the initial design stage. Since architects, contractors and clients all want maximum visibility of the blueprints and materials that compose these primary plans, it quickly becomes difficult to ensure that all stakeholders remain informed and satisfied with progress. As an article from ConstructionWeek Online recently noted, Building Information Modeling tools can be hugely effective in a firm's efforts to promote greater transparency in these steps, offering teams raw and uncut design content from the start. 

"Projects frequently suffer from adversarial relationships, low productivity rates, high rates of inefficiency and rework, frequent disputes and lack of innovation, resulting in time or cost overruns in several projects," explained the news provider. "BIM aims to help in addressing these challenges. It extends the capacity of the project team to start thinking about time, cost, quality, sustainability and other pragmatic parameters in the early stages of the project."

BIM not only serves to enhance collaboration from the outset of a project, but it also raises the bar for visibility and communication once things are underway on the job site. For instance, internal teams and outside subcontractors can tap into BIM files at any point in the contract to align their objectives with the demands of the design materials and ensure that all operations are fully calibrated. The solution drastically reduces risk and gives project leaders invaluable peace of mind when entering the fray of the modern construction environment. 

Financials and forecasting
While BIM offers a reliable platform for collaborative design and checkpoint coordination, back-office operations must depend on dedicated tools such as ERP to keep key capital processes moving along. Although contractors have long used ERP solutions to underpin their financial decision-making, the role of collaboration is not given enough emphasis in these settings. For this reason, teams need to harness the collaborative dynamics found on the job site and integrate them into the transactional side of things, all while remaining aware of future estimations and forecasts.

 "[Cost] estimation of a project becomes the biggest challenge for any construction company, which in turn could help the company containing its overheads and expenses," noted Sudheer Nair, CEO of eresource Infotech, as quoted by the source. "Like we often say, the projects are usually spread over many years, aligning the projected cost with the actual cost becomes difficult. The challenge becomes manifold given that most companies deal with large project and huge volumes."

Of course, the information gathered and accessed in ERP systems must be available to on-site supervisors and other decision-makers pulling the trigger on key tasks, as they are responsible for tracking labor, materials and other capital assets involved in their processes. This represents another facet of collaboration that can't be overlooked, meaning that construction teams must rely on software solutions to disperse these details across the many corners of the enterprise. Such strategies further enhance communications and accountability on all fronts. 

Project management
With design and financials covered, project management remains the final frontier for collaborative excellence on the modern construction site, as well as the most challenging for many firms. This is because today's contracts involve so many moving parts, the synchronization of internal and external stakeholders, as well as a level of client involvement never before seen in the industry. Project leaders are tasked with juggling all of these demands at once, and must stay in close communication with one another when contracts are in full swing. 

"Accessing work progress of different projects that includes estimation of material supply, stock in the site, stock in the warehouse and manpower management all can be managed at anytime from anywhere with a the help of a laptop and internet connection," explained the ConstructionWeek Online article.

The best management tools offer decision-makers insight into every element of a project's past, present and future, including up-to-the-minute reports about every conceivable transaction and task execution. With these systems supporting their operations, next-gen construction leaders can truly maximize their potential. 

Tags: Construction Technology

Enhance subcontractor management to drive performance

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 05:01 AM

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Enhance subcontractor management to drive performance

Construction project managers tend to focus primarily on their core teams and professionals when moving a contract forward, as progress on the job site is largely dependent upon the performances of these groups and individuals. After all, a contractor is responsible for executing the core objectives and tasks that ensure timely and cost-effective construction as the client requests.

Without the support of the various subcontractors that provide specialty skills and knowledge sets, however, general contractor teams would not be able to navigate around the more challenging aspects of their projects and properly fulfill the needs of the client in question. That's why strong subcontractor management is vital in the modern construction world, and why contractors should ensure that their software solutions are optimized to handle partnerships with fluidity and transparency. With stronger subcontractor connections, a firm can easily take performance and productivity to new heights. 

Managing multiple teams
For contractors facilitating large-scale, multi-faceted projects, there's no denying the challenges presented by juggling a multitude of smaller, niche teams at once, especially when sites and schedules become saturated over time. As an article from Construction Global pointed out, the stakes are high when it comes to orchestrating subcontractor activity, as specialty organizations must be coordinated perfectly with job site circumstances to ensure timely execution of their tasks. For these reasons, a dedicated software solution is a powerful ally in the struggle to master subcontractor relations. 

"Communication is also an issue when you are commissioning work from people who are not part of your own company," explained Construction Global contributor Wes Simmons. "If you don't have an effective way for subcontractors to feed their progress back to you, it can be hard to keep track of how a project is developing. Subcontractor management requires a relentless focus on project management, coupled with effective processes to keep two-way communications channels constantly open."

With these operational pitfalls in mind, it's easy to see how a strong management platform can help shed light on the situation and give project leaders a way to better synchronize subcontractor activity. For instance, a clear view of a daily job site schedule can dissolve ambiguities surrounding task timing, while a visible design plan may be seen by all partners simultaneously, allowing team captains to identify what needs to be done before arrival. Dedicated channels of communication are a bonus that can serve to move projects along, even when managers are not necessarily present. 

Accounting made simple
On-site operations aside, subcontractor management also presents a series of distinct challenges in the accounting arena, a facet of the construction business that poses difficulties for many firms. As Construction Global noted, things are already a bit cloudy in the world of construction financials, as strict, evolving regulations play into every transaction within a company and among business partnerships. To ensure close adherence to these expectations, it's crucial that contractors integrate tools that help them to stay on the right path and minimize risk. 

"Effective systems can help you keep track of when payments to subcontractors are due or have been paid," continued Simmons in his piece for Construction Global. "Successful construction companies invest in software systems that [synchronize], linking procurement, accounts and other databases - including subcontractor details - to give them instant access to all the information they need to enable them to make informed decisions and prepare accurate estimates."

Today's construction leaders can't be expected to do it all, which is why subcontractors play such a key role in project execution for organizations at the highest level. With enterprise-grade tools to manage these relationships and enhance accounting capabilities, construction teams will certainly have an edge on the competition, promoting optimal performance and combating risk factors. 

Tags: Construction Project Management

How to overcome these 4 ECM challenges

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 05:38 AM

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How to overcome these 4 ECM challenges

A strong ECM system is one of the many software essentials in the arsenal of the modern contractor, as every facet of the project life cycle requires fast, reliable access to key enterprise data. Whether teams need to collaborate on blueprint documents to shore up designs, look into financials to balance budgets or communicate with clients on key deliverables, there seems to always be a new set of digital demands facing the construction operation. Content creation and management is a fact of life in the IT era, and organizations know that ECM is the golden ticket to master these requirements.

Of course, deploying an ECM application is not always smooth sailing, and ensuring that these software components generate long-term value is a daunting task on its own. To help construction leaders navigate the difficulties inherent to the world of enterprise content management, here are four of the most commonly encountered ECM challenges, and some tactics to overcome them. 

1. Establishment of scope: Arguably the hardest part of an ECM deployment is creating a roadmap for the software itself, namely the goals it aims to achieve and the issues it will hopefully remedy. This process, according to DPCI, is referred to as "defining scope" and should be the first and foremost priority of any ECM agenda. Before ever selecting software or pulling the trigger on a system, an organization should identify exactly what it hopes to achieve with its ECM agenda, coordinating across teams and departments to ensure a cohesive approach to deployment. 

"[I help] that group get what they might call an "enterprise content strategy" documented," explained Joseph Bachana, president and founder of DPCI. "I think the safest thing to do is to document the department's requirements, then go to other divisions/segments of the business to see if what they have implemented can fit the documented needs."

2. Determination of policies: Following the selection of a software system, ECM strategists need to establish how the deployment will be used on a day-to-day basis. This means collaborating with on-site construction teams, back-office employees and even external subcontractor partners to establish workflows and create policies that simultaneously empower and protect users to access key data points. As Bachana noted, this is a crucial step to avoid redundancy and miscommunication, as "it is not unusual to find numerous duplicate files" in an ECM portfolio. 

3. Education of end users: While most of today's ECM software systems are fairly intuitive and quick to grasp by most tech-savvy users, employees still need to be educated on the details of a deployment in order to eliminate ambiguity in all its forms. As a recent blog article from Idatix pointed out, the best vendors will help an organization facilitate comprehensive training programs to teach users the ins and outs of the application. This can help to dramatically accelerate adoption time and reduce support demands down the line. 

"Time and time again, expensive software purchases go under-utilized because of lack of training and support material," explained the news source. "To safeguard against this problem, choose a vendor that offers continued services, support, education and product enrichment to ensure that the software investment is paying off."

4. Navigation of change: Even the most well-established construction organizations undergo periods of expansion and adjustment, forcing IT teams to alter ECM systems to meet new and changing demands. Rather than reacting to these situations and risking falling behind the curve, ECM administrators should remain in close contact with business leaders to promote a synchronized approach to development. This continuous method of improvement will help keep software on the cutting edge and ensure that content is always readily available. 

Fueling collaboration with BIM technology

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Fri, May 01, 2015 @ 06:23 AM

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Fueling collaboration with BIM technology

Tech-savvy construction leaders make the development and implementation of next-gen systems a top priority for their organizations, whether it takes the form of mobile devices or topographical surveying hardware. When it comes to software, however, there is arguably no solution more revolutionary than Building Information Modeling, in particular the 5D BIM platforms that have taken center stage in the modern construction environment. The benefits of BIM are widespread, but as adoption rates grow, collaborative capabilities have risen above all as an invaluable advantage. 

Design, plan and execute - together
As BIM becomes a mainstream solution across multiple construction use cases, more stakeholders in the project process have become hands-on with these systems. For instance, design teams harness the power of these 3-D modeling platforms to experiment with various materials and structures, simulating builds and thereby mitigating risks down the line. From here, financial teams and cost estimators can gain insights into the big-picture budgets of a project. Finally, contractors can access these systems during the construction process itself for added accountability and guidance. 

Since each of these stages is so closely intertwined and connected by the common thread of BIM, the collaborative potential of these solutions has brought stakeholders together like never before. Not only are internal teams joining forces with greater transparency, but subcontractors and clients all have more opportunity to contribute, since BIM models can be crafted and manipulated in real time. As ConstructionWeekOnline pointed out, embracing BIM is more than just a technological adjustment - it's a mindset shift that prioritizes close team communication above all. 

"BIM is often described as being a process and not a technology, perhaps by those hoping to avoid stirring an underlying fear of technology," said Tim Cole, executive vice president of research and development with a BIM software provider, according to the source. "I think BIM is best described as a technology-enabled process that is built on collaboration and early engagement. Take out any one of these elements, and the benefits are greatly reduced."

Bridging the gaps across apps
Since BIM solutions are bringing a more collaborative standard to construction operations everywhere, it's important that organizations are able to fulfill end-user expectations with other team-oriented applications. This means integrating financial reports, scheduling information and other project management data into the BIM environment, and ensuring that systems are fully synchronized and prepared to deliver workflow optimized for collaboration. 

Maximize ECM user adoption in the construction environment

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 09:25 AM

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Maximize ECM user adoption in the construction environment

Today's end users have a lot of options when it comes to creating, sharing and managing key construction content, and every enterprise IT leader knows that getting employees to stick with one solution is much easier said than done. Between consumer-grade file sync software, homegrown applications and basic email and text-based approaches, there appears to be no definitive answer to a contractor's content management needs. In other words, widespread user adoption for construction ECM is one of the biggest challenges facing large organizations at the present moment. 

With these obstacles in mind, it's important that tech leaders do everything in their power to advance the development, deployment and optimization of their ECM platforms to promote the highest possible levels of adoption within their operations. Here are a few tips to get end users excited about a single, central ECM system and finally bring some order to the chaos. 

1. Identify key adoption barriers: In a recent blog post from AIIM, it was revealed that 60 percent of executives agreed with the statement "gaining user adoption has been a big problem for our ECM project," while 62 percent stated that "we still rely on file shares." Even more alarming was the fact that these companies had dedicated ECM solutions already in place. These organizations must start their optimization efforts by targeting specific groups of end users within the firm, ideally gathering feedback in order to address the biggest concerns and complaints of the workforce. 

2. Clarify ECM application scope: Too many content management strategies reach beyond their capabilities, forcing end users to scrap together suboptimal solutions to meet their demands. As AIIM pointed out, identifying the exact objectives and content classifications for each software deployment is necessary to avoid shortcomings, minimize confusion and boost adoption rates. 

"Deciding where to let go is a key element in managing overall risk," said Michael Coleman, SVP & CIO at Comporium Communications, according to AIIM. "You need to decide what are actually corporate assets, and push processes to make sure they live in a specific place. There are not enough people to manage the volume. Make sure you get that foundational layer right."

3. Prioritize mobile deployment: AIIM discovered that more than a quarter (27 percent) of organizations don't have any mobile ECM plan in the works, suggesting that firms are behind the times with regard to enterprise mobility. Companies struggling to promote adoption must recognize that mobile functionality is a major selling point for end users everywhere and should make it a top priority moving forward. 

Deploy a construction-savvy ECM application suite

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

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Deploy a construction-savvy ECM application suite

The modern construction operation is absolutely flooded with data. From the job site to the back office and every checkpoint in between, team members, subcontractors and clients are generating heaps of information with the aim of accelerating and improving the project life cycle at every stage. Nevertheless, content management platforms still can't seem to keep up with the breakneck pace of the construction environment, leaving many IT leaders dissatisfied with their ECM investments while end users scramble to piece together fragmented solutions with isolated applications. 

Rather than leaving tech departments and employees to fend for themselves in the high-pressure game of construction content management, decision-makers need to implement a definitive system that fulfills every imaginable need of a mobile, dispersed digital workforce. This means leveraging an ECM ecosystem built specifically for a construction context, and supporting these applications with processes that reflect the precise capabilities of the software. Here's a three-step guide to selecting and implementing the ultimate construction ECM solution:

1. Evaluate current functionality: Every strategic roadmap must be generated with a firm understanding of the software a company currently has in place, as this evaluation will serve as a jumping-off point to identify and target future goals. As an article from CMSWire pointed out, leaders should be unforgiving in their assessments, as they will be necessary motivators for change and development. 

"Organizations need to look at where they are now with their content and content management, where they want to be in the future and the gap between the two," explained CMSWire contributor David Roe. "This may also involve a migration plan, which also needs to be considered as a project in itself too."

2. Assess end user opinions: While business leaders may have an overarching vision for the role of an ECM platform, end users are the ones who will truly be able to offer honest, real-time feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of a deployment. Construction firms must be open to the opinions and criticisms of the workforce to get an accurate picture of where applications need improvement. 

3. Team up with a strategic partner: Even if an ECM provider can offer all the bells and whistles necessary for a strong deployment, the application will not realize maximum value unless it is optimized for the construction environment. Leaders must prioritize a partnership with an ECM vendor that knows the unique requirements and expectations of this industry, moving away from general, horizontal solutions whenever possible. 

Put an end to paper with digital ECM solutions

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 @ 12:51 PM

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Put an end to paper with digital ECM solutions

Paper-based construction operations have been the norm since the first contractors opened for business, and despite the obvious limitations of these physical documents, they remain a reliable method of designing, reporting and communicating with various teams on and off the job site. In the digital age, however, the paper standard is no longer an acceptable way to create and distribute important content in the construction environment - new software solutions make it easier than ever to reduce volumes of physical documentation and even move toward a paperless ideal. 

More data than ever
Today's contractors juggle a greater amount of information than any previous generation of construction competitors, as evidenced by the massive uptick in data volumes across the globe. Between blueprints, financial records, client communications and subcontractor interactions, a single day on the job site can generate more information than can possibly be managed by paper. An article from CMSWire took a deeper look at the factors driving organizations toward digital ECM platforms, noting these increasing volumes as a top motivator for adoption. 

"IDC estimates there will be a 50 percent growth in new content this decade alone, with 90 percent of that unstructured in emails, documents and video," explained contributor David Roe. "Big data is making it even harder and a lot more complex as more varieties of content enter the enterprise. All of it has to be governed and managed - and it also has to be searchable."

When faced with skyrocketing masses of data in the business environment, the limitations of paper-based systems become readily apparent, forcing decision-makers to turn to digital solutions that can not only handle these incredible volumes, but can also organize data sets in a way that reflects the natural progression of a contract and other construction-specific functions.

New work styles emerge
In addition to the vertical demands of construction and the huge amount of information flooding ECM systems, organizations still need to remember that accessibility is a top priority in the world of content management, especially in a construction setting that sends various teams across a wide array of sites and scenarios. CMSWire explained that as new styles of communication and access come to the forefront, companies must make their ECM systems highly available to mobile users, both in terms of content creation and utilization. 

"Document management and ECM platforms must enable productivity on any device, integrate with the content tools of choice for users, work inside or outside the firewall, and deliver consumer services use cases that users expect today - as well as the traditional ECM use cases," said Alfresco co-founder and CTO John Newton, according to the source.

Ultimately, the most effective way to reduce paper trails while maximizing digital value will be to take a headfirst leap into electronic ECM methods, ideally leveraging software solutions built with construction in mind. Companies that can then create highly intuitive mobile experiences for their end users will undoubtedly have the edge when it comes to long-term content management strategy. 

Predictive software for tomorrow's construction demands

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 09:31 AM

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Predictive software for tomorrow's construction demands

Preparation is everything in the world of construction, but for general contractors, designers and specialized builders, it's not always easy to predict what financial and material demands will arise in the future. Even with a detailed calendar highlighting upcoming projects and opportunities, a company will find itself shorthanded unless dedicated construction software is in place to provide clear and precise figures regarding the necessary capital resources. 

Organizations that leverage predictive software solutions - those that cover financials, project management and customer relationship support - will always have the upper hand in this competitive industry, as they have access to the real-time data to inform their strategies. 

Ready for anything
While planning for the long road ahead is vital to all areas of construction management, the world's most successful organizations know that eventually, something will throw a team out of sync and cause issues for the company at large. That's why predictive solutions for ERP, CRM or project planning must also be effective on a short-term basis, allowing decision-makers to quickly steer things back on track. This could mean quickly selecting a new subcontractor or creating a change order at the last minute.

As an article from Manufacturing Business Technology recently revealed, preparing for one of these unexpected situations is a hallmark of strong construction leadership, and without dedicated solutions to facilitate quick communications across teams, it's tough for a company to recover after stumbling over an obstacle. The source highlighted collaboration as a necessity in these scenarios, noting that information should be readily shared over multiple channels and applications. 

"[No] matter how well-oiled and designed your preventive and predictive maintenance program is, every now and then, Murphy's Law reminds us that things can go wrong," explained Manufacturing Business Technology contributor Marc-Alexis Redmond. "And when something does go wrong, the ability to prepare for, detect, respond and recover from any situation or emergency regardless of time, distance or network is mission critical."

Recipe for growth
Ultimately, every company has aspirations to expand and fulfill a greater vision as an organization. Today's top construction software solutions offer a predictive blueprint generated from past project data and an eye on the future. While contractors still need to navigate the challenges of the job site, these systems can help point them in the right direction toward new opportunities and optimal construction practices. 

As ECM demands grow, consolidation becomes critical

Posted by Tyler Tersigni on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 @ 11:43 AM

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As ECM demands grow, consolidation becomes critical

Content management is one of the most universal and daunting challenges of the digital age, and as companies across sectors seek to transition to a paperless standard of operation, the difficulties that IT leaders must overcome prove even more problematic. Not only is the volume of data growing at an exponential rate, but the software platforms that store and manage these resources are also becoming more complex and widely deployed, with hit-or-miss results. Simply put, content management is crucial to enterprise success, but is more complicated than ever before. 

For participants in the construction industry, these issues are compounded by the wide array of content types inherent to the operations, including blueprints, CAD files and complex financial reports reflecting multi-tiered contracts and progress checkpoints. Therefore, as contractors dive deeper into the world of ECM, they must consolidate their software systems to create more accessible, easy-to-use resources, even in the face of growing volumes and new varieties of content that continue to be introduced into the fold. 

The ever-expanding world of content
Any tech-savvy organization knows that data volumes are on the rise, but a recent paper from IDG Enterprise revealed just how fast - and to what extent - this content is growing. The source noted that between 2010 and 2020, the overall amount of digital information is slated to increase 50 times over. Enterprise organizations have their work cut out for them from a storage and management perspective, and new pockets of content generation are cropping up all over the digital arena, especially in social and collaborative environments. 

"The baseline requirement for content management has gone well beyond office documents, PDFs, and CAD/CAM files," explained the report's authors. "The rise of social media and collaboration tools has created a new class of enterprise content. With so much content, it can be harder than ever for business users to quickly find the information they need."

Even more concerning is the fact that 90 percent of today's content management requirements involve unstructured information such as email, written and image-based documents, interactive design files and even video. For construction companies in particular, these challenges have grown even more acute as highly specialized resources play more vital roles in areas such as project management and collaborative reporting methods. Without ECM software created specifically for contractors, these organizations will likely encounter productivity-hampering challenges down the line. 

Why ECM consolidation is essential
While having construction-specific software is certainly a step in the right direction for contractors' ECM aspirations, leveraging such tools is only half the battle, according to IDG Enterprise. The source explained that these resources must also be distributed across a highly fragmented and extended digital domain, including mobile arenas and other remote access use cases. For this reason, ECM systems must be highly collaborative, spanning multiple applications and access points to ensure that end users can consistently and easily tap into content. 

"The challenge doesn't just stop with integrating a fragmented set of ECM systems," wrote Grenoble Ecole​ de Management Professor Pat Brans in an article for CIO. "For content to be properly managed, your content management systems have to access content in other enterprise systems, such as enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and customer relationship management."

Considering the fact that nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of organizations manage at least three ECM platforms simultaneously, the need for app consolidation is apparent, especially as firms embark on mobile endeavors and expand their ECM strategies across new business partnerships. Construction software deployments should be lightweight in their size, but robust in their functionality to reflect this new standard of content management.