How Proactively Planning for Your IT Requirements Will Save Your Construction Project

Updated on: December 9, 2022

Authored by Bryan Wisner, Senior | Technology Advisory

If you are about to enter new construction or have already started a project—renovating, expanding, or building new—there will be a lot of technology-specific decisions to make during the process. Since you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of the game. Whether you need a smarter building that will reduce energy costs and save resources, or you need a better-connected office that can accommodate a hybrid workforce, you’ve come to the right place for IT insights. Let’s discuss how construction planning (or lack of it) can make or break your project.

Make Technology an Essential Part of Your Construction Project Planning

Overlooking the technological component of construction planning at the outset of a project can lead to costly change orders, delays, surprise expenses, code violations, security risks, and missed opportunities. Proactively considering IT requirements during the early stages of planning will guarantee better outcomes and ensure your tech needs are up and running from day one.

The objective is proactively and strategically planning for your IT requirements and preferences. The problem is general contractors (GC)/builders will rely on you to tell them what you want. This means you need to have thoroughly defined your technology needs.

To prepare, these are the questions you should discuss with your IT department:

  • What are the technological requirements necessary to meet our desired business needs?
  • What systems and software are we considering, and are there installation requirements we need to communicate to our builder?
  • How will the building design and blueprints allow for the system to be installed successfully and without issues?
  • Will the system installation work for operational turnover from a technical perspective?

A new building means new opportunity costs. Undoubtedly, there are technology needs that your current (or former) office space lacks. Pay attention to the things that you want to change or introduce into this new build.

Consider how your team collaborates internally, communicates externally, and the systems and processes that increase productivity. Make a list of the tech needs that will optimize your operations and define a budget to ensure you can meet those requirements for a more dynamic workplace. This can include things like:

  • A/V, music, and telecoms
  • Whole house wifi (mobile, internet, cell booster, 5G, low voltage wiring, etc.)
  • Access control and security
  • Conference space and cameras

The most important tip: don’t leave your IT to chance! Spend the time to thoughtfully and strategically design a space that will empower your organization to scale.

If your team is confident enough to navigate technology needs without external help, the insights above should help inform your initial planning. If your team seeks technology advisory support, or has a plan and needs additional insights, then keep reading.

A Proven 4-Step Construction IT Process

A team of information technology experts can do more than help you set a clear strategy and ensure alignment with your builder. Seeking advice before construction begins will mitigate technology disruption during construction. An external partner can also advise on what not to do (think: avoiding the relocation of physical files or building a server room for those files and instead establishing a plan to migrate to the cloud).

Ultimately, a partner will ensure you digitize where necessary, stay within budget (even save money), and gain security and efficiency. Our approach to informing technology components of a construction project includes four concise steps:

  1. Needs Assessment and Visioning: Understand your technology needs, define your requirements, and proactively identify potential risks.
  2. Requirements and Risk Review: Work with GC/architect to ensure their technological proposal is a well-defined scope that meets your requirements and risk tolerance. This includes:
    1. Blueprint IT design management
    2. System advisory, evaluation, and selection
    3. Internet strategy provider (ISP) advisory and planning
    4. General best practices to inform the proper design
  3. Project Management and Implementation: Attend construction project meetings, coordinate and communicate with contractors and vendors, navigate the changes throughout the project lifecycle to ensure adherence to IT requirements, and mitigate and manage risks.
  4. Change Adoption and Change Management: Training and documentation, roll-out and handoff, and closing.

Protect Your Organization Against Costly Construction IT Mistakes

Most general contractors can suggest technology but may lack the depth of knowledge to know whether it will work. With the help of an experienced partner, your company gets access to a team that can advise on every technology decision and ensures your requirements are met. Send us a message if you’d like to discuss how our Technology Advisory team can help your organization mitigate risks and hit deadlines without compromising the security of your technology.

Our IT experts are here to make sure you don’t overlook your technology needs during project planning.

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