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Q&A: Data-Management Challenges Facing Construction Companies

This is the second of a three-part Q&A blog series featuring Adam Kailian, IT Systems Administrator at Build Group, a leading Northern California construction firm. Discover how Build Group has kept up with fast-changing technologies, data-management challenges facing construction companies, and why Druva and Build Group have formed a strong relationship.

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about construction companies?

AK: A foreman once told me, “construction companies are just accounting companies that make buildings.” When people imagine a building going up, they see cranes, concrete, hardhats, trucks, like that. What they don’t see is the enormous amount of data involved in every facet of this business – 2D and 3D CAD design files, costs and logistics, supply chains, and compliance documentation. Construction is absolutely a data-driven enterprise.

What’s really important for builders like us is that a lot of that data has to be immediately available, without fail. Commercial construction is a highly time-sensitive, synchronized art, and proper data management is crucial. If you lose or can’t find one file, it can throw off a number of schedules and significantly increase costs.

Q: Can you give an example?

AK: We’ve been on top of protecting our data, I can’t think of a time when we failed to find archived files. Maybe that’s just me, data protection is my highest priority. But there can be a price: in our case, the amount of data we were handling was so huge, our backups were extending into our production hours, and that congested the network. No enterprise will tolerate that for long, which is why so many companies are switching to cloud-based storage solutions.

Q: What’s the role of the cloud in this?

AK: Beyond the cloud’s advantages for backups, I think that silos have always been a big challenge, sharing data in a corporate environment. And that’s where a cloud solution shines, it makes all this data accessible across-the-board, designers have it, engineers have it, finance has it, and they can all get what they need directly instead of begging another department for their reports or whatever. When the corporate silos aren’t in the way, everybody’s on the same page.

Q: What’s a trend or challenge you see coming?

AK: Climate change is going to have a huge impact on everyone, from the ways we put up buildings to the supply chains for all our materials. And you can’t predict exactly what that impact is going to be, but you know it’s going to be pervasive. We’ll all be carefully managing carbon footprints, and with the amount of energy we use, things are going to change dramatically. But again, I think this all boils down to data management – parameters are changing for a number of interdependent systems, and IT has to keep up.

Q: Any last thoughts?

AK: Understanding and dealing with climate change, implementing analytics, making the most out of your resources, it’s all about data, commercial construction is a totally data-driven business. That’s one of the reasons I love my job, as an IT guy I’m absolutely at the heart of this company’s success.

And believe me, I’m always looking for the best tools to do my job right. That’s how I got started with Druva.

Look for the next blog in this series, where Adam talks about how Druva and its cloud platform for data protection, management, and governance has become an important ally in Build Group’s success.

Next Steps

Check out the webinar featuring Build Group and learn more about solving the challenges of data management, protection, and governance.

Download our Build Group case study and learn how Build Group and Druva formed a lasting relationship.

Read the first blog in this series, “Customer Spotlight: Build Group.”


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