Drew Morris, Sales Director at Comms365, highlights the need for construction sites to conquer the basics of connectivity to be future-ready.

After a turbulent year, 2021 is the year of recovery and growth for the construction industry. However, with labour shortages, supply chain disruptions and stricter regulations, innovation must become a priority for the industry if it is to recover fully and become resilient.

This necessity was reflected in the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Strategy 2021, which stressed increasing productivity and performance as a key challenge to overcome. The adoption of new and innovative technologies and processes has to be at the heart of this transformation to create high-performing systems that work together, adding value to society.

This can deliver tangible benefits for construction firms, but there remains a fundamental stumbling block for those organisations looking to capitalise on innovation: finding the best connectivity to do the job. 

The issues companies may encounter can vary from frequent lack of high speed, portable and reliable Internet connectivity, particularly for sites located in green and brownfield locations, to lacking access to emergency comms should there be a delay in a fixed-line installation, or accidental breakage to a line. It is therefore imperative that the industry addresses these key issues as a matter of urgency so that firms can gain access to the connectivity they need at new sites from day one. 

With rapid advances in technology and the advent of cloud-based services and applications, the way we work and collaborate has drastically changed. Technological innovation helps industries to continually strive to be more efficient, productive and cost effective. Yet, when it comes to the world of construction, investment in IT has remained low in comparison to other industries.

Progress has been hampered by the technical challenges presented by projects that can be large, complex and geographically dispersed. Combined with the varying proficiency and maturity levels of smaller subcontractors, advancing at scale has been difficult and has subsequently led to slow progress in the digitisation of the construction industry. 

 

Despite these challenges, the technology available to construction firms has improved rapidly and we are now starting to see how advances in digital technology can deliver efficiency and productivity opportunities at the start of all projects – truly revolutionising the way construction sites function.

Drones, robotics, 3D printing and augmented reality are no longer works of fiction but can be adopted by forward-thinking firms looking to capitalise on the benefits that embracing innovation can bring to the construction site. 

But to harness such development fully, good connectivity is a necessity. Technology that is crucial for the industry to innovate and keep up with demand cannot function without high-speed, portable and reliable internet connections. Gaining access to such connectivity can be a challenge for new sites where infrastructure can limited if present at all.

Now that internet communications have been freed from the restrictions of fixed-line delivery, blended communications models, made up of wired and wireless internet access, have become viable option to satisfies business needs – irrespective of location.

Advanced bonded service solutions enable organisations to gain additional resilience and contingency by combining different internet access connections together into a single ‘virtual pipe’ with precise performance management.

With combined bandwidth and enhanced reliable internet performance integrated into a portable solution, this service is highly suitable for rapid deployment emergency situations, where internet services are required urgently and communications infrastructure is either missing or may take several weeks to be installed. Sites can now be up and running in a matter of hours, not weeks.

The construction industry cannot continue to operate on outdated processes and management methods but instead must embrace digital advances and adopt smarter processes and technology to stay competitive.

Technology will continue to evolve and disrupt the industry, changing how we work, but for the construction sites of the future to be able to embrace those changes fully, the industry must conquer the basics of connectivity.  

By working with experienced and trusted providers who can supply the connectivity solutions that sites require, the industry will then be able to continually benefit from the opportunities that the latest advances in innovation present, and meet the priorities laid out in the CLC strategy, bettering the future of construction.

The rewards to firms that capitalise on digitisation will be instantaneous.