Mobile Apps Springing Up Across Jobsites

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Robison Wells
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Mobile apps for construction technology are hh2’s bread and butter, but you may be surprised to learn just how prevalent mobile apps are in the construction workforce. According to the 2019 JBKnowledge ConTech report, 93% of respondents say that they use their smart phones for work, more than laptops (83%) and tablets (64%). The use of smart phones in the industry has grown 21% since 2014.

The top workflows for mobile construction apps include photo/video management tools, tool tracking, time management (such as our Remote Payroll app), BIM viewing programs, and plan and project management. The tech with the largest growth in the last year was in safety management apps, which rose by 4% in 2019.

Smart phones continue to gain momentum as phones get smarter and more convenient. The top mobile brands in each category were:

• Daily report management: Procore, Bluebeam Revu, and Plan Grid

• Photo/video management: Bluebeam Revu, Procore, and Plan Grid

• BIM file viewing: Bluebeam Revu, Navisworks, and BIM 360 Docs

• Plan Management: Bluebeam Revu, Procore and Plan Grid. These were followed closely by cloud-based file sharing services such as Dropbox, Citrix Sharefile, and Egnyte

• Safety management apps: Procore, Bluebeam Revu and iAuditor

It should be noted that hh2 Cloud Services integrates seamlessly with ProCore and other apps, using our AP Routing and Approval solution hh2 Document Flow, Time Entry and Approval with hh2 Remote Payroll, Managing your Employees with Human Resources and many other cloud-based apps.

With so many apps, the study noted that “app fatigue” is a common problem for those in construction, where nearly all users toggle between the same five or six apps, despite having twenty or more downloaded. “Contractors find that there’s a pressure to use specialized app for every task,” the study said.

"In the construction industry, the dilemma is there is not a one-size-fits-all app so builders are forced to use many different apps," it said. "When the different apps do not integrate or talk to each other, builders will have to enter the same information or repeat processes."

This is why hh2 products are designed to integrate as easily as possible with other apps, to make the process smooth and simple, and not lead to this “app fatigue”.

Cyber Safety

While smart phones are invaluable for contractors, not all workers or links in the chain strive to keep them safe from cyber attacks, the report found, but data security methods are increasing. Security methods such as cyber liability coverage, as well as simple employee training in app security, are growing, but the approach that is growing the fastest in the last year is two-factor authentication, which has grown 13% in popularity over the past year.

But even these efforts are proving to be less than successful, accounting for only a 2% increase in cyber security since 2018. 77% of companies said they did not have a breach, where 12% said they did and 11% said they weren’t sure. Of the breaches, the most common were phishing scams, followed by ransomware, denial of service attacks, and exploiting vulnerabilities in security.

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