May 16, 2020

Is your construction company's IT system ready for growth?

Admin
3 min
Is your construction company's IT system ready for growth?
The effects of the global financial crisis of 2008 are still being felt, with the first real signs of recovery only becoming visible now - six years lat...

The effects of the global financial crisis of 2008 are still being felt, with the first real signs of recovery only becoming visible now - six years later. Construction companies were affected particularly badly, forcing many firms to radically alter their operations just to survive. But now that there are signs of growth on the horizon, are your IT systems ready? Will they help or hinder your recovery?

Increased demand

Taking on a new construction project can force your company to grow in size, almost overnight. As work begins on site, your workforce could increase by almost ten times, placing a large strain on your existing IT systems.

Without a truly scalable construction software platform in place, construction companies may find that they are unable to deliver the information their employees need. This could result in costly delays and project overruns.

Maturity

Construction company’s processes were very different ten years ago, yet many firms still rely on legacy systems to underpin their operations. If your operating processes no longer match those hard coded into the software, your IT will be holding you back.

The CIO is then faced with a dilemma. Pay for expensive re-coding of existing systems to match operational needs, or replace them with more modern alternatives. The rising costs of supporting legacy systems should, when understood, make that decision a lot easier.

“Seventy to eighty percent of….IT spending was on maintaining legacy systems rather than investing in improvements. That may actually be an under-estimate.” Legacy Systems: A Ticking Technology Time Bomb

Flexibility

Operational pressures will have already forced construction companies to adjust their processes - and they will undoubtedly change again in the near future. Can your legacy system be easily customised to support these changes?

The adoption of a fully-configurable construction software platform that supports process changes will be far more cost effective in the long term. The software will then support and drive improvements and efficiencies, helping your business achieve more.

Consolidation

As your business has grown, new demands will have needed individual solutions. This often leads to a patchwork IT systems, with a collection of applications being used by different business units.

Important data is spread across these platforms making it virtually impossible to obtain an instant understanding of any project. Determining which version of the information is the “truth” is harder still.

The answer is to consolidate these disparate systems into a single platform, thereby ensuring you only ever have one version of the truth. In doing so, making decisions based upon a better understanding of likely project outcomes easier and more accurate.

How to stop IT holding you back

Construction companies looking for a strategic advantage through IT need to select software that:

·       Is scalable enough to support massive peaks in demand.

·       Can be configured to closely match your internal business processes.

·       Flexes with changing demands and strategies.

·       Replaces existing disparate systems to deliver one version of the truth.

Learn more about IT as a driver of success in our free eGuide: The changing place of IT in the construction industry’.

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Jun 14, 2021

XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality

AugmentedReality
construction
DigitalTransformation
Technology
Dominic Ellis
3 min
XYZ Reality to use funding led by Octopus Ventures to springboard into USA and automatically report issues through Assisted Reality

XYZ Reality has announced a £20m investment round led by Octopus Ventures.

Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.

Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year. 

With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.

With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.     

This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.

"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”

The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc. 

Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”

XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.  

Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.” 

Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.

But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.

"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."

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