End-to-end AEC cloud technology roadmap

Nov 8, 2016 8:00:22 AM

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AEC companies can rely on ERP and industry solutions in the cloud to grow, compete, reduce their risk, and innovate on behalf of clients

Aiming to perform challenging projects on time and within budgets at a time of intense global competition, many architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies have good reasons to plan and manage their technology systems unlike companies in other industries do. For one thing, they tend to lack the luxury of a single base of operations from which they can control and grow their business. What’s more, they depend on a great number of subcontractors and a fluctuating, project-dependent workforce, which adds risk and complexity to their endeavors.

Increasing risk, ever more complex projects, and a lack of integrated systems

While many AEC companies see the opportunity in technical innovation and are investigating digital transformation to meet customer needs and compete more effectively, they often use technology in a more reactive way. Even larger AEC organizations may lack systems that let them connect data, processes, and resources. Instead, they find it easier to purchase and implement solutions that help them manage aspects of the business, such as projects or assets.

According to the recent global construction survey from KPMG, which included both construction companies and other businesses that undertake construction projects, only 20 percent of the respondents noted that they used a fully integrated system for managing projects. Survey respondents also acknowledge challenges in project management: Just 27 percent of them state that they have a consistent way to manage all their global projects. At the same time, industry challenges are intensifying as projects become staggeringly complex and the realm of opportunity as well as competition has become globalized. 100 percent of contractors interviewed believe that their business risk is increasing. 77 percent of respondents state that projects are growing in volume.

Powerful, low-risk technology that fits the AEC industry

To take advantage of the best of modern technology and set their business transformation initiatives in motion to anticipate increasingly risky and larger projects, AEC companies don’t need to invest in complex, traditional ERP systems and commit to lengthy implementations. Instead, they can take advantage of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and solution modules of To-Increase Architecture, Engineering, and Construction, which are becoming certified for Dynamics 365. They can deploy in the Azure cloud the ERP functionality they need most urgently and which they perceive to be most valuable, and extend it with additional capabilities at the right time. With a relatively low IT overhead, they can bring advanced technology into their business to manage projects, assets, subcontractors, estimates, bids, finances, and other aspects of their operation.

Unlike might be the case if they were to implement a complex, full-fledged ERP system with many capabilities they require—and likely some they will not need—AEC businesses will not increase their infrastructural complexity and management challenges when they deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 and To-Increase Architecture, Engineering, and Construction in the cloud, because the Dynamics and To-Increase technologies integrate and extend each other. They can fine-tune their systems to suit their business, and they remain undistracted from their essential activities of running projects, managing backlog, cash flow and margins, optimizing resource and equipment utilization, and avoiding project overruns.

In our next blog post, scheduled for November 15, we take a closer look at some of the ideas behind the cloud integration of To-Increase Architecture, Engineering, and Construction and Microsoft Dynamics 365. In the meantime, please get in touch if you want to discuss ERP for the AEC industry, or have questions and feedback. Send me a noteor simply contact To-Increase.

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