Are we going mobile any time soon?
I am often asked for my perspective on the potential for using tablets in the field for construction. I was in attendance at the Associated General Contractors of America’s recent annual conference. It was clear from the presentations delivered to delegates and the company’s attending to display their wares that information technology (“IT”) is quickly being recognized as an essential tool in creating increased efficiencies throughout the life cycle of a project, both off site and on. Many of the presentations were entirely focused on IT issues and solutions and the majority of the vendors in the Constructor Expo pavilion were pitching their IT solutions. I am old enough to remember when the majority of issues and vendors at these conferences related to methods of construction or construction materials.
There was a good deal of attention paid to the use of mobile applications. Presentations were made on its use for safety management, for superintendent’s daily reports, using it to submit time sheet/payroll data as well as functions like creating and managing punch lists and accessing documents and project information. Some of the applications could be utilized on a smart phone but most are designed for tablets. Key to all of this is having adequate access to high speed internet connections to make it all work. So the answer to this question is short and sweet … mobile is already being used on the jobsite and its use will only grow from here.