‘How are global economic changes impacting innovations in technology?’ By, Adam Denno
While many of us are still taking stock of the impacts the recent global economic uncertainties have had on our core business, there have been significant technical innovations that stand to have an influence on how firms position their companies not just for survival but for near, and long-term, growth.
Recently, I had an opportunity to participate as a panelist at the Dun & Bradstreet Advisory Forum held Sept. 8-11 in Washington, D.C. The Forum, which was designed to discuss technological, economic and business trends, brought together industry executives looking to consider how to best integrate: evolving solutions, innovative technology and best practices.
As a leading software solutions firm for the construction industry, we are in a unique position to have been at the tip-of-the-spear during the recent economic shifts. It was only four years ago, that we were in the thick of an historically low point in our industry. Since that period, we have experienced a somewhat continued recovery. However it wasn’t until recently that firms in our industry began to realize the potentially significant risks a recovering economy can have on their company. To compound these issues, firms are realizing significant shortages in qualified labor, limitations in material supplies and a market that is seemingly stuck in paper-thin fees and a perpetual state of hyper-competition.
Domestic operations are seeing resources drained by international growth (China et al.) and competing markets (oil & gas is attracting labor at higher wages). The growth in the US construction market (The U.S. Census Bureau put construction spending for July 2014 at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion, 8.2 percent above the same period last year) has attracted an increase in foreign competition and investment. Regardless of whether a firm is specifically working in foreign markets or remaining in their “home territory” the impacts of a global economy are here to stay.
As a panelist at the Dun & Bradstreet Advisory Forum, there was a common theme that continued to surface: how should companies in construction and other markets position their companies to not only survive, but thrive in the global economy? The solution offered by myself, as well as the other panelists was consistent: Through understanding and integration of technological innovations and software solutions.
While the global economic shifts have impacted the way companies conduct business, there has been a period of technical innovation that has moved a neck-breaking speeds. Access to information has never been more available, data storage is now all but free and the ability to integrate software solutions have become significantly more efficient than they were only a few years back.
The challenge many firms will face in today’s global economy are daunting and the technical solutions that are available are staggering. For a firm to identify and seize opportunities not only in todays climate, but for years to come, they will need to embrace technical innovation and systemically commit to the solutions that will drive the core mission of the firm forward.
A special thanks to the very distinguished panelists presenting with me at Dun & Bradstreet Advisory Forum held Sept. 8-11 in Washington, D.C:
Kevin Fouche (Manager – Global Customer Data at Verizon)
Misha Ghosh (Global Solutions Leader at MasterCard Advisors)
Darin Ball (Director of Credit at DS Services)
Dennis Mullen (SVP at Wells Fargo)
Alan Balko – Moderator (Senior Channel Director at Dun & Bradstreet)
About the Author:
Adam Denno is the Product Strategist at JBKnowleddge, Inc. a technology solutions provider to the construction and insurance industries, and maker of the SmartBidNet, SmartReality, SmartCompliance and SmartInsight web and mobile software solutions. Adam has over 15 years in risk management and qualification underwriting experience in the construction industry and most recently served as the Senior Corporate Data and Risk Manager for JE Dunn Construction Company. SmartInsight, JBKnowledge’s latest solution, is the construction industry’s first non-exclusive, secure, collaborative qualifications data exchange platform on the web.