Construction software is a general term used to describe certain programs that are used in project management, from managing people and materials to estimating project costs. When it comes to investing your hard-earned resources in a particular piece of construction software, there are some important factors you will need to take special note of. Here are some key points of differentiation that you will find useful in your choice of construction software.
It is important to note that construction software is deployed in different forms, each with its pluses and downsides. Windows-based construction software used to be the norm but with the rise of cloud computing, an increasing number of companies are opting for cloud-based alternatives. You may wonder why this is so. Windows-based applications, as the name implies, require the Microsoft Windows platform to work, with this having the ability to restrict staff with non-Windows devices. But with a genuine cloud-based solution, construction software will run on any devices and be accessible from anywhere there is an internet connection.
Construction software also differs regarding the database used. You should ensure that you take the time to check carefully out the database used by the one you have in focus. Some databases become less efficient in performance as more users are added over time due to firm growth. It may be to your advantage to get construction software with a NoSQL database, which is scalable to the size of your company.
The ease of use of computer software depends on how its user interface is laid out. Some user interfaces could be rather too complex to use to the extent that those for whom they are intended prefer using an alternative, defeating the purpose of the program. In making your choice of construction software, you will need to go for an application with a simple user interface. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why cloud software and mobile apps are growing in popularity – they simply tend to be more usable and maintained and updated on a much more regular basis.
As with just about every system the most important part is the user. Although the bespoke software is usually the best fit for most purposes – the training and development of staff on the system can be of significant, hidden cost. Using Randstad Construction or similar where the agent understands the specific demands of the construction industry is a must – often one quick call upstream can save you weeks of headaches downstream.
In making your choice of construction software, it is also quite important to take out time to verify the support system of your potential vendor. If you do not already know, not all construction software vendors have in-house support. Some of them outsource their support service, which can be problematic. You should, therefore, look for tools whose makers provide support in-house. It is also helpful to ensure that the support is highly responsive and will not keep you waiting for days to get a response. Look for a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) to cover this.
Updates and Upgrades
You need to consider the regularity of updates and upgrades in your choice of construction software. It is relevant to know how many updates you will be getting for your annual fee. You should also know up front about the frequency of upgrades and what payment will be required before being allowed to upgrade. Construction software programmed in old languages doesn’t usually take long before needing an upgrade.