Collaborative technologies for mobile workers and virtual project teams

2013-11-08T10:14:21Z (GMT) by Sean T. McAndrew
Information Technology is advancing at a frightening pace. Cloud computing and its subset, Software as a Service (SaaS), are rapidly challenging traditional thinking for enterprise-level application and infrastructure provision. The project-centric nature of the construction industry provides an environment where the utilisation of SaaS is commercially appropriate, given its ability to provide rapid set-up and predictable costs at the outset. Using project extranets, the construction industry has been - unusually for it as an industry sector - early-adopters of this cloud computing model. However, findings from the research highlight that there is a gap in the information and documents that pass from the construction phase into the operational phase of a building. This research considers examples of the SaaS IT model and how it has been used within a construction and facilities management industry context. A prototype system was developed to address the requirements of facilities management work order logging and tracking process. These requirements were gathered during detailed case studies of organisations within both the construction and facilities management sectors with a view to continue the use of building-specific information through its full life-cycle. The thesis includes a summary of the lessons learnt through system implementation within the construction-contracting organisation Taylor Woodrow, and it concludes with an IT strategy proposal that was developed based on a cloud computing model.