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Contractors Benefit from Advances in Information Mobility, but Gaps Still Exist, According to New McGraw Hill Construction Report

Contractors Benefit from Advances in Information MobilityNEW YORK –October 28, 2013 – Contractors are investing in improvements to the mobility of their construction project data, yielding business benefits, according to a new report by McGraw Hill Construction on information mobility in the construction industry (click here for report). However, there are significant gaps that need to be overcome for the benefits to be widely achieved across the industry.

Overall, the most highly reported benefits are better team collaboration (reported by 76%) and improved productivity (reported by 68%). Bottom line benefits, such as shorter project schedules, lower project costs and increases in project ROI, are significant for those that are tracking the benefits.

However, only half (51%) are tracking information flow at all, and only 20% are tracking the flow of their information outside their own firms—a significant need in the industry in order to understand and improve the flow of information.

“There are proven results in the value of information mobility investments, with contractors reporting shorter schedules by 9%, project cost decreases of 10% and increases in project ROI of 2%,” says Harvey M. Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights & Alliances at McGraw Hill Construction. “We need to encourage the industry to track and report these benefits so they can justify investing in information mobility, thereby improving their profitability.”

Another challenge is determining access to data and information—ranked as one of the most important factors driving investments in information mobility. While the industry has made significant improvements in information flow within or outside an office, only 37% report that their workers onsite can access information outside the trailer. The two most important functions of information mobility reported by contractors are gathering real-time data from the jobsite and conducting analyses of those data.

“Since construction always takes place ‘in the field’ through a ‘distributed enterprise,’ it seems reasonable to expect ‘industrial-strength benefits’ from applying information mobility innovations, which have been increasingly enabled by ‘consumer-led’ investment and inventions,” says Huw Roberts, Bentley vice president, core marketing. “In this important and timely SmartMarket Report, McGraw Hill, as the trusted source of intelligence for and about the contractor community, for the first time assesses and quantifies the business benefits already being achieved by the front-running technology adopters.  In addition to helping others to catch up, the Report, in particular, usefully identifies the wide gaps remaining in securing construction information mobility with integrity.  For Bentley Systems and other developers of collaboration servers, field ‘apps,’ and cloud services, this also helps to prioritize major opportunities. ”

Contractors are acknowledging this need and are looking at the future investments and tools to help them capture these benefits. For example, 60% of respondents expect to use cloud services over the next two years, compared with only 37% today. This will allow smaller firms that don’t have resources to invest in servers to more easily share information—and allow for easier remote access of data. However, the industry acknowledges that they will need to address security factors as they more heavily invest in remote information sharing, with important features considered, such as document security (by 71%), secure access (68%) and version control (56%).

Bentley Systems was the premier partner on the study. Bluebeam was a contributing partner, and the BIMForum and buildingSMART alliance were association partners.

On Wednesday, October 30 at 11:35 a.m. UTC (7:35 a.m. EST), McGraw Hill Construction will be presenting key findings at Bentley System’s “Year in Infrastructure 2013” Conference at the Hilton London Metropole, London, UK. 

Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Bentley Systems applies information mobility to improve asset performance by leveraging information modeling through integrated projects for intelligent infrastructure. Its solutions encompass the MicroStation platform for infrastructure design and modeling, the ProjectWise platform for infrastructure project team collaboration and work sharing, and the AssetWise platform for infrastructure asset operations – all supporting a broad portfolio of interoperable applications and complemented by worldwide professional services. Founded in 1984, Bentley has more than 3,000 colleagues in 50 countries, more than $500 million in annual revenues, and since 2005 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions. Additional information is available at www.bentley.com.

To download a copy of the Information Mobility SmartMarket Report, visit analyticsstore.construction.com/InfoMobilitySMR13 or www.bentley.com/smartmarketreport

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About McGraw Hill Construction:
McGraw Hill Construction provides essential data, news, insights, and intelligence to better inform construction professionals’ decisions and strengthen their market position. McGraw Hill Construction’s data, analytics, and media businesses – Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, and Engineering News-Record – create opportunities for owners, architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers, and distributors to strengthen their market position, size their markets, prioritize prospects, and target and build relationships that will win more business. McGraw Hill Construction serves more than one million customers through its trends and forecasts, industry news, and leading platform of construction data, benchmarks, and analytics, including Dodge MarketShare™, Dodge BuildShare® and Dodge SpecShare®. Construction data is available for North American and global markets.  To learn more, visit http://www.construction.com.

About McGraw Hill Financial:
McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.

Media Contacts:
Kathy Malangone, Senior Director, Marketing Communications,
McGraw Hill Construction, +1 212-904-4376, kathy.malangone@mhfi.com

Ron Kuhfeld, Director, Corporate Communications,
Bentley Systems, Incorporated, +1 610-321-6493, ron.kuhfeld@bentley.com

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