Mobile has appeared to be a final frontier of sorts when it comes to information technology modernization. Although smartphones are near and dear to the average business and consumer, they have only been around in their current form and with their advanced capabilities for about eight years. This is one of the main reasons why enterprise mobility management has been a major issue for the average organization, and will continue to be for a long time.

However, new solutions are being created and released that help to ease the strain of enterprise mobility and turn relevant deployments into true performance drivers rather than immense operational disrupters. In certain industries, leaders have been quicker to the punch with respect to implementing the controls and solutions necessary to enable mobile users in the office and out in the field through a range of devices and applications.

Construction companies have largely embraced the new era of IT, especially in terms of accounting software and enterprise resource planning platforms. Each of these particularly important areas of construction project management have been vastly improved by the introduction of specialized software. Still, it appears as though the sector has a long road to travel to reach widespread mobilization of management frameworks and technologies.

Mobility can be transformative for a construction business, especially when considering how much power it places in the hands of field-based project managers and staff members. In 2016, productive, efficient and optimal mobility management strategies and capabilities should be at the top of the construction company priority list. Certain trends are indicating that this will indeed be the case, and that the sky will be the limit with respect of potential performance improvements.

Projects in motion
Computer Business Review recently interviewed several leaders in the mobility arena regarding their opinions on trends to watch in 2016, and found that security, the Internet of Things and management will be among the more prominent focuses of leaders across industries. Because the speed with which device manufacturers are innovating continues to rise, the average organization will need to find ways to become highly agile in their management and protection of relevant assets.

In the construction industry, there is no doubt that more advanced gadgets and enhanced functionality within tablets and smartphones will present significant opportunities to improve performances, but failure to deploy the right management solutions could end up ruining prospects in this regard.

Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at a mobile device security and management software provider, spoke to this matter in the interview.

“Rapid technology change, evolving user demands and app fragmentation will force CIOs to embrace neutrality and offer best-of-breed solutions rather than restricting choice,” he told Computer Business Review. “Restricting choice forces the user community to seek out its own solutions and becomes a catalyst for shadow IT. This leads to increased risk of data loss, even from employees with the best of intentions.”

In terms of trying to leverage new devices as powerful utilities, companies will likely begin to focus on interoperability of systems and the capacity for supporting a wider range of operating systems in the field. IBM Mobility Chief Technology Officer Martin Gale pointed out that user experiences are paramount in these matters, as failure to meet the demands and preferences of employees can quickly lead to rogue IT or poor engagement.

“The ‘mobile moment’ exists where an extension of utility to a new device can solve a problem or enhance a process in a location or context that it couldn’t be solved before and as such the concepts of user experience and simplicity across a range of devices are vitally important,” he explained, according to the source. “So, 2016 will solidify the concept that having a good app means more than a good star rating – it is moving to a broader relationship across all users.”

Implications for construction
Today, construction leaders can adopt mobility solutions that are specialized to not only their industry’s unique needs and requirements, but also customized to specific internal objectives. Construction project management software that serves as a central resource for all departments and employees can be mobilized quickly with the right solutions provider, and maintained properly over time to ensure long-term benefits.

With competition heating up in the construction sector as a result of economic improvements, the fact remains that the most advanced, efficient and agile companies will survive and reach the top of their marketplace. Mobilization is key to any organization’s success, and has to be a point of focus for leaders going into the new year. By partnering with a reliable solution vendor that specializes in construction management support and enablement, 2016 can be a highly advantageous and profitable year.