There’s little remaining debate about the importance of technology in construction. It’s everywhere — from building information modeling to virtual design and construction to cloud-based project management software and mobile apps.
As digital options grow and become more integral to the work, who can build and manage your company’s technological ecosystem? Perhaps a construction technologist.
Closing the gap
A construction technologist is a management-level employee who combines top-flight tech competency with a demonstrated, practical knowledge of construction processes. This dual expertise allows the person to lead efforts to research, procure, test and launch new systems and software that best fit your operations.
The job description of a construction technologist tends to vary based on a construction business’s distinct needs. It may include monitoring the technology budget, addressing pain points experienced by office and field staff, and finding opportunities to increase efficiencies. It could also call for assessing technology providers to explore new opportunities and overseeing integration of new hardware and software into existing systems.
Justifying a new position
Hiring a high-level employee like this is a weighty executive decision. Construction technologists typically command a substantial salary plus benefits. Deciding whether the position is worth adding to your company will depend on your strategic goals and capacity for growth.
A good first step is to review your technology use. You can do this by forming a committee comprised of company leadership and your most tech-savvy employees. Provide the committee with a list of questions to answer, such as “What are our tech priorities?” and “How do we expect our operations to change in the next three to five years?”
You should also look at your current pain points. What systems, software and apps do you currently use? How often do you use them? What’s working — that is, saving you time and money — and what’s not?
From there, explore the likelihood that better solutions are available. If so, why aren’t you using them? They might be difficult to identify, or you could doubt your ability to choose the best product and implement it properly.
Your committee may find that your current tech solutions and capabilities to improve them are sufficient or just need some enhancement. On the other hand, it could discover a deeper need for understanding and managing technology. In the latter case, hiring a construction technologist might be worth the investment.
Pushing tech to the forefront
If you want to push tech to the forefront of your company’s strategic plan, a construction technologist could play an integral role in meeting that objective. However, as mentioned, you’ll need to be sure the investment will pay off.
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