How much is IT really costing your construction business?
As an established business, you probably already have a number of systems in place to help keep track of projects and related data. Chances are, however, that your existing platforms may be less than efficient. Worse still, they could be significantly reducing profits through inefficiencies, maintenance and license costs.
Here's how to try and quantify how much your current IT is costing your business.
Potentially, the biggest ‘hidden’ cost to your business is where your employees need to duplicate their effort. You should assess your current set-up to identify situations where:
- Employees need to manually copy data between many different screens or software packages;
- There is an excessive use of spreadsheets to make up for deficiencies in the old systems;
- Employees need to keep notes of figures before entering them into the system at a later time;
- Any process that requires manual intervention.
“While there is functionality contained within these tools that can help a small business, growing organisations may find that they quickly grow out of these tools. Organisations that use a set of multiple disparate applications, however, lack this unique advantage of ERP.” – Nick Castellina, ERP and the Small Business.
Lack of mobile support
Many of your staff will spend a significant proportion of their week on site. Ideally they should be able to access and update data while they are in field. If they cannot:
- Staff will need to keep notes which can then be entered into the system when they are next back at head office;
- Potentially costly mistakes will creep into your data as information is ‘forgotten’ or inaccurately entered into systems upon return to the office;
- Your business will be unable to make accurate decisions because data is missing, inaccurate or out-of-date;
- By providing any time access to your construction management software, data can be updated immediately, negating most of these problems.
“Poor data quality is wasting £1 in every £6 spent from the average UK departmental budget” - Experian QAS
On site operational costs
Probably one of the easier values to calculate is how much your current management software running overheads. Factors to consider include:
- The costs associated with maintaining computer hardware – Operating System licenses, electricity, hardware maintenance costs etc;
- Software license costs associated for each package you use;
- Staffing costs associated with training and keeping systems running.
Many of these costs can be reduced by adopting a Cloud-based current construction management software solution to replace several existing packages, or to integrate with them more closely.
Calculating your current IT costs
So to gain a better understanding of your current IT costs you need to:
· Analyse areas of operations where staff are duplicating effort;
· Quantify costs of inaccurate data entry caused by a lack of mobile support;
· Run through all of your current IT running costs.
Are you heading in the right direction?
Work out whether your current construction software is in the right position within your company with the eGuide: ‘The changing place of IT in the construction industry.’
BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership
BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.
BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth.
The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.
Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.
“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”
Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”
Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.
Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:
- Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
- Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
- Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
- Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%
For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.
“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”
In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".