Our recent research into the construction industry shows it has had it as tough as any other sector in 2020 – projects were delayed or cancelled, supply chains were unreliable, social distancing proved an on-going logistical and practical challenge and the lack of financial reserves many construction companies operate without has brought a sense in instability in an already unstable world. But that very same research shows clear trends for 2021 on how the construction sector plans to recover and future proof. And some have already begun that task.

There is hope on the horizon. The UK government has pledged to keep the industry (economy and employment) going via many and varied construction projects, but there is another factor that is set to help construction businesses – technology: it has already proved life-saving in a socially distanced, remote-working world, but it is set to revolutionise communications and deliver huge savings across the entire construction industry in 2021. New tech adoption such as installing SD-WAN, already underway in several leading building companies, will provide a huge competitive edge when it comes to tendering for lucrative contracts and how effectively construction companies and their teams communicate with everyone from site-workers to clients, partners to suppliers, head office to regional management.


Key Technology Issues for Construction Businesses in 2020

The key trend for 2020 has been the huge rise in the use of technology – figures from McKinsey show that across all industries collectively we leapt forward 5 years in tech adoption, in just 8 weeks, albeit an unexpected change foisted upon many sectors. The sudden need to work from home or remotely surprised many, but for construction it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all – simply replace the term ‘remote working’ with ‘on-site working’ and it’s clear this is something the sector does all the time, on ever-changing remote sites often with very little communications infrastructure in place. So why are so many construction businesses relying on last century’s communications technology or even slow and clogged pay-as-you-go consumer networks?


Our Construction Industry research shows:

  • As much as 78% of medium-sized construction businesses use consumer (even PAYG) sim cards for on-site connectivity
  • 88% have suffered long-term outages on mobile networks due to 5G installations taking networks down
  • 97% of those relying on 4G connections have suffered outages or delays due to networks being busy or slowed by consumer internet traffic
  • 92% are aware that using such networks in built-up areas means they are fighting for bandwidth with every other person in the area
  • 86% agreed with the statement “slow internet means slow business”
  • 93% of IT directors in the construction sector are looking into SD-WAN and know that it will solve all of the above issues and more and not just on-site, but in their offices too, while 81% of CFO’s are seeking cost cuts

Three Key Trends for the Construction Industry for 2021

So, what do we (and many of those working in the sector) predict as trends for construction companies of all sizes for 2021. We’ve listed three key findings, but we have a few interesting (and surprising) trends that, for now, we’re keeping up our sleeves – those will be available in our trends report 2021 out in January 2021.


Trend 1: On-Site Telecommunications for Construction Companies

The number one trend we’ve identified highlights the growing need for robust, plug and play, entirely portable construction site connectivity, that will keep everyone connected from site offices, head office, teams, individual workers, suppliers and partners.

This number one trend is why we have created CONSTRUCTION 1-2-3 a unique SD-WAN product tailored specifically for the needs of the sector. CONSTRUCTION 1-2-3 can be simply unplugged and moved to your next site, then powered up and connected in seconds, on site, in the office or even for remote working.

Here’s some of the benefits it will bring to you:

  • Reduce your MPLS network costs by up to 65%
  • Always-on connectivity to your construction sites
  • Speed-up your network and enable it to work smarter
  • Protect your network with SaSe next generation firewall technology from Check Point
  • Eradicate costly downtimes and outages completely
  • Ensure your critical apps have priority on your network traffic
  • Simplify the management of your network
  • Complete visibility of your network from one central point
  • Simultaneously crisis and future proof your network
  • Enable remote and office working as and when required
  • Underpin your businesses digital transformation
  • Everything you need to be connected for under £100 per site pm (£149.99 with SaSe)


Trend 2: Financial Management and Saving Costs

Savings need to be made whilst quality of work must remain the same – corners cannot be cut, but costs can be! Costly MPLS, which is nearing the end of its useful lifespan anyway is rapidly being replaced with tailor-made SD-WAN – this delivers savings and solves the need for improved site communications as in trend 1 above.


Trend 3: Stabilise your supply chain

Continual communications whenever, wherever are essential for construction supply chains, this is not just about building materials, but also equipment and even partner businesses in specialist areas. Some vendors and subcontractors will simply not survive the crisis whilst other may not be able to supply quotas due to delays further up the global chain; gaining visibility and gathering data across the entire supply chain can only be achieved via robust, fast, always-on networks, just like SD-WAN.

Don’t get left behind – your competitors are looking at SD-WAN and how this simple unobtrusive overlay is deployed across their network via zero-touch deployment and no downtime. Contact us here for a no-obligation chat about how we can tailor-make an SD-WAN solution for you (with or without SaSe) and let you try it via a 2-week free Proof of Concept period.

Kelly Rogers

Kelly Rogers

CMO, SDWAN Solutions

Kelly, heads up SDWAN Solutions Group Marketing and Social department and is a multi-award winning marketing, communications and innovation expert with over 20 years experience.
She has worked on projects for five global technology giants, four of the big six supermarkets, three of the UK’s leading retailers, the world’s largest licensed brand and one of the big three publishers, as well as many corporations, public sector agencies, government departments, charities and NFPs globally.
To date Kelly has scooped over 19 awards for her work and two of her campaigns have gone through UK Parliament as white papers.

Share This