So I’ve just come back to chilly old Sydney after a few days in the astoundingly warm and beautiful Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. I was attending the National Electrical & Communications Association(NECA) annual conference held at the Sheraton Grand Mirage, what a perfect location to get a bunch of electricians together for some education, entertainment and 4 days of solid drinking!
I was lucky enough to have a speaking role alongside my good friend Shashi Kanagaratnam from e-Noah where we presented an hour-long keynote on the state of play with technology in the construction industry. Our time slot was first thing Monday morning, with Monday being day 3 of the conference and following a rather large foundation dinner the night before. As such we expected pretty slim numbers and limited engagement from those attending but were surprised to see a packed room of around 200 delegates and some fantastic questions and enquiries about what is undoubtedly one of the biggest changes happening in not only the electrical space but in the entire construction industry right across the globe.
We explored the Technology Adoption Lifecycle, the basics of building a “Business Technology Platform” and the importance of having a technology strategy in place, along with discussions about custom applications, integration, and some example case studies. I gave a shout out to our mates at simPRO and their fantastic efforts in pioneering cloud-based job management in Australia and across the world, simPRO has a huge user base within the NECA organisation and have positioned themselves as a pillar of the electrical community. We also spoke about the use of technology in training and compliance after a chat we had with the New Zealand contingent about their plans for consistent and easily deliverable WHS certification.
So this gave us a bit of a view of “The Now” and where technology currently sits, we then moved on to “The Future”. Think AR and VR usage alongside BIM tools, greater collaboration between business systems for B2B transactions, Internet Of Things and its usage in equipment controls and communication tools, wearables like smart helmets and physical exoskeletons, and of course, drones with flamethrowers on them that can save time and eliminate what was once an extremely risky workplace activity
We opened up to questions and received the usual queries about security in the cloud, I reinforced my standpoint on password security and the usage of 2 step authentication whenever possible, especially for email platforms, we discussed Mobile Device Management for large device rollouts, and some queries on the best cloud-based accounting tools. All in all, a very engaged crowd and we achieved our goal of making the delegates think about and understand that technology is here to stay and that it is playing a huge role in the evolution of the industry.
Construction is the 2nd least digitised industry of all and is widely regarded as THE largest opportunity for software development and efficiency gains. This means we’re now being flooded with options and the decision on “which system is right for me?” is no longer a simple task. This reinforces the importance of having the right partners and advisors in your business and why we’ve positioned TradiePad at the forefront of technology use within the trades services sector.
For business owners in the Electrical Industry, having a business partner like NECA is a critical component in ensuring you’re at the cutting edge of business management. NECA is committed to providing education and support for member businesses of all sizes and stages of their life cycle. I’d like to say a massive thanks to the whole NECA team for having us involved in the conference and allowing us to spread the word of the cloud. TradiePad and e-Noah are proud to be able to deliver such important technology education in association with the leaders in providing valuable member services for the Electrical Industry.