Have you ever downloaded a great app on your Windows product, only to realize that you have to download it again to access it on your Apple device? The different operating systems could talk to each other, but choose not to in hopes of forcing you to pick one system. These integration frustrations are everywhere, including among construction technology solutions.
In Construction Business Owner, construction technology consultant James Benham advocates for better integration across construction technology. Users want integration, but are often left to insufficient manual solutions. Established vendors see no reason to change, and until users demand it, they won’t.
The Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA) was formed to address this issue. Currently 15 construction technology providers have agreed to work together to create open standards. COSA has already worked on room plan and time card data schemas, and will make these formats open to both members and nonmembers. Integration benefits providers, but ultimately users benefit the most. When your solutions don’t play nice, you’re not getting the best return on your technology investment.
Since integration is essential for the best quality user experience, why do any companies resist it? Opening the API is easy. But companies often want to withhold their information to force out the competition. Doing so ignores the consumer’s needs. Several different construction technology solutions might suit your company best, and you should be able to have them work together.
Organizations such as COSA are necessary to encourage collaboration and motivate companies, particularly larger ones, to share their interface. Tech solutions increase efficiency, and that shouldn’t be hindered by a lack of integration.