Technology to facilitate business

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The Rising Tide of Technologies

By Bill Kloster, CIO, SEH

The Rising Tide of TechnologiesBill Kloster, CIO, SEH

Exploiting Big Data

The construction companies embracing the reality that readily accessible and usable data provides business value are better positioned to compete and grow. Here are a few ways construction companies can leverage expansive amounts of data to generate revenue:

• Go paperless. Eliminating historical paper records by making them electronic will reduce expenses and make historical information easier to find and leverage for future opportunities.

• Apply geographic information and product specifications to make better design decisions and provide more accurate cost and maintenance estimates.

• Simulate traffic pattern information to determine the most optimal intersection designs.

• Harvest market research information to link your clients and the services you provide for more tailored marketing of opportunities.

• Disrupt your competition by providing maintenance services that leverage the collection of data obtained from sensors embedded in the solutions you develop.

Thoughts on Data Driven Designs

The application of known factual information into designs will improve the likelihood of success in the construction phase. For example, the use of data generated from 3D laser scanners allows for a level of accuracy and specificity in designs that helps avoid construction phase surprises.

 Tactically the CIO needs to ensure that annual objectives are completed in the right sequence and at the right pace for the company  

Reaping Innovation

Fostering innovation begins with a leadership commitment to make it part of the corporate culture. Companies need to encourage employees to generating new ideas or find better ways to approach solution designs on assignments. They must acknowledge that some of this time is non-billable. They should establish department or employee level goals that focus on generating new ideas that are actionable.

The Rise of IoT

Today it means all our employees are connected. Most employees have multiple devices that require network service from anywhere at any-time. Employees use their devices to perform a variety of tasks from gathering geospatial information to responding to a client request.

Tomorrow it means all our solutions are connected. The reality of smart cities is here. There are connected sensors imbedded into construction solutions that provide near real time information about a variety of public utilities and services. I see a real opportunity for our company to provide client value through connected solutions.

The Changing CIOs

I’ve only been CIO for one year, so I can’t say much about how my role has changed. I can say that I was fortunate to be hired into the role with expectation that I am a member of an Executive Leadership team that views Information Technology as a driver of business value.

The role of CIO is to provide a strategic plan that supports the strategic direction of the company. Tactically the CIO needs to ensure that annual objectives are completed in the right sequence and at the right pace for the company. Market conditions and financial climate will always factor into decisions we make on investments and timing of change. The CIO plays a significant role in creating a risk-based decision model that considers probability and impact of not doing something as well.

Lessons Learnt

Relationships are more important than issues. Life as an IT professional is filled with stressful situations. In operations you’re on the front line responding to calls for help. In application development you’re on the front line meeting requirements and delivering solutions on time and on budget. The best advice I can give is to focus on the relationship and directly discuss the issue with a calm confidence that comes from knowing the facts. Sometimes expectations need to get reset. The discussion will always go better if you have a strong working relationship regardless of degree of difficulty the situation creates. 

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