The Australian environment is prone to natural disasters, from fires to floods to cyclones, we’ve seen it all thanks to climate change.
Last year, we experienced the wettest July on record in Australia, and experts predict more wild weather is to come. The latest climate models by the Bureau of Meterology indicate that this year, Australia could swing from three years of above-average rainfall to La Niña to one of the hottest, driest El Niño periods on record.
The last three years of La Niña have challenged Australian construction like never before. Few could have predicted the devasting floods whose impacts were felt throughout the construction industry, from large-scale commercial and infrastructure projects to smaller residential builds.
Hutchinson Builders’ chairman, Scott Hutchinson, noted that up to 40 per cent of construction days were lost and many sites were damaged or destroyed due to the 2022 wet weather. This led to many project delays and increased rebuilding costs, and as we we’ve just gone through our third La Niña summer, construction is facing significant headwinds including rising material costs and a skilled labour shortage. But construction businesses can plan for the unexpected and keep operations moving if they have the right technology.
Increase business resilience and agility to be prepared for any situation
From contracts to supply management, data within construction businesses is often stored in silos – paper-based filing systems, team servers or desktops, individual desktops, laptops, smartphones etc. When natural disasters strike and workers can’t get access to the premises or it’s completely gone, business grinds to a halt.
Fortunately, switching to Software as a Service (SaaS) provides a resilient and flexible technology infrastructure that can support critical business operations even when physical offices and construction sites are affected. Companies and their employees can access software and data from any device, anywhere at any time, enabling remote work and collaboration.
Companies are no longer tied to physical computing infrastructure and proprietary networks. Buying, building, and maintaining expensive data centres are a thing of the past and businesses don’t have to be reliant on on-premise software as a single point of failure when the unexpected happens. This not only reduces the risk of cyber security attacks, but it also reduces the risk of outages and downtime during severe weather events.
For construction, SaaS Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software modules such as project management, financials, and human resources, can help ensure that business operations continue despite disruptions caused by natural disasters. It can also provide real-time data and insights into project progress, allowing companies to quickly assess the impact of a disaster and respond accordingly. Contingency planning is also supported, enabling companies to quickly adjust schedules in response to supply chain disruptions caused by mother nature.
Of course, the money for construction companies to migrate to SaaS doesn’t fall out of the sky.
Researchers from IBRS and Insights Economics estimated in a recent report that there is a potential ‘digital dividend’ of $252 billion available over ten years if all Australian organisations were to upgrade to SaaS.
In the asset and project intensive sector, there is a potential saving of $62 billion over ten years, if companies ditched their datacentres and switched to cloud-based platforms.
The biggest savings came from the reduced cost of buying and maintaining IT infrastructure, reduced compliance costs, increased labour productivity and employee retention. But they also found indirect benefits, like reduced energy costs and lower carbon emissions.
TechnologyOne offers a software solution built for Australian construction that offers more project visibility than a hi-vis vest. For a full solution overview from industry expert Luke Fleming and a live demonstration of the software, register for the webinar here.