Operating efficiently in the construction industry requires an extensive and regular exchange of data and information between project managers, contractors, office staff, suppliers and customers. However, given the complexities of the industry, obtaining the right technology and IT support for contractors and builders can be easier said than done.
This post outlines the top three technology challenges builders and contractors face, and offers tips on how to address them.
Equipping field and office staff with integrated, effective technology
Every business needs to properly equip its employees with the right devices and technology to do their jobs well. In the construction business, this can be particularly complicated, because some employees work in the field on iPads while others work in the office on PCs. In addition, IT support for contractors and builders must support the ability for team members to communicate quickly and seamlessly with many different clients and suppliers.
Meanwhile, the construction industry is one of the most information-intense. Large documents – like AutoCAD design files – require a lot of data storage capacity. We see many builders and contractors using different software programs that don’t integrate, causing loss of productivity and confusion. However, there are ways to overcome these challenges.
The right MSP partner will be one that can offer strategic IT support for contractors and builders. They can help you build a streamlined, secure strategy for preserving and protecting electronic files, and making sure all your employees have easy access to them.
For example, one way we provide IT support for contractors is by migrating IT systems to the cloud. This allows employees a seamless way to share files and collaborate on projects, whether they’re on a construction site, in the office, or using a laptop or mobile device at home. And with scalable data storage options, the cloud-based service providers we partner with can handle even the most information-intense businesses.
Cybersecurity protection for a remote workforce
Cybercrime is continually on the rise, victimizing businesses of all sizes and in all industries. However, the mobile nature of workers in the building and contracting industry makes them particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals disrupt networks, steal sensitive information and trick victims into transferring them money.
While cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated, so are the strategies and technology to protect against them. The right MSP partner’s IT support for contractors can help its clients protect their devices, networks and data with layered cybersecurity protection.
Strategies for the best cybersecurity IT support for contractors and builders range from getting ongoing protection for network-connected mobile devices to setting up a virtual private network (VPN) to moving to protected cloud-based software to using the latest cybersecurity detection and prevention tools. It also includes developing acceptable use policies for staff and training employees, as human error is the top cause of security breaches.
It’s also worth noting that some insurance companies offer cyber-insurance to help businesses prepare for, respond to and recover financially from cyberattacks. However, this coverage is getting more difficult to obtain. For the best chance of receiving coverage, businesses must follow certain IT cybersecurity best practices.
Protecting IT equipment and data at jobsites
Temporary structures where construction staff work on a jobsite – such as an office trailer – can pose a risk to IT equipment and any data stored locally. In the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane, unprepared builders and contractors may face equipment damage, IT downtime and data loss. This could result in project delays and a loss in employee productivity, revenue and data.
At Atlas, we provide IT support for contractors and builders to help them maintain business continuity, even during and after a disaster strikes. Strategies like setting up offsite hosting and file backup, using secure cloud-based software and having a disaster recovery plan can help protect data and ensure the business will continue operating.