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Digitisation is driving companies forward

Digitisation is driving companies forward 16.08.2018 - Digitisation and modernisation are phenomena that are penetrating ever faster into more and more areas of the economy and everyday life. In fact, the constant change has never been more noticeable than it is today. Industry 4.0 is no longer a vision of the future, it is catching up with us quickly. Companies of all industries are therefore forced to deal with digitization, globalization, modernization and new technologies if they want to remain competitive and economical. The term industry 4.0 refers to a summary of many phenomena that develop simultaneously and have common intersections. The Internet plays a role in many processes - not only as a source of information but also as a sales market, advertising space and communication instrument. The networking of machines, programs and companies is increasingly indispensable, data processing and marketing are changing completely. Through machine learning, computers also make independent decisions and virtual worlds have long become part of everyday life.

 
Economy and digital change
 
Industry 4.0 has been THE big topic in business for almost ten years now. Companies are completely changing their production processes, their data processing processes and their marketing. Facilities and simplifications are noticeable in many areas, while at the same time other areas are becoming more complex and extensive. This clearly includes IT, which makes digitization possible in the first place. New digital products and processes can save money in many areas and allow completely new products to be developed. The service sector is now also becoming more and more digitalized after the industry has already largely converted - but the change is far from complete. Therefore, project management in all industries has to deal with industry 4.0 and digitization.

 
Project Management 4.0
 
Project managers must keep abreast of new developments. They must not only know which trends exist, but also be able to decide which of the many-sided trends is promising for their own purposes. Email-enabled smartphones are as ubiquitous as tablets and digital platforms where documents and plans are always at hand. The status of a permit can be tracked on a community's website, while webcams transmit images of the site to the world in real time. Digitisation has simplified many tasks. Information is shared much faster and everything can be checked by anyone at any time and from any place (as long as Internet access is guaranteed). Video conferences can be held across continents with the help of two simple telephones. WLAN enables communication with all parties involved even on a construction site without an office. The project manager can create error reports in no time and directly on site by simply taking photos of the actual situation and sending them to those affected. With digital images, the project manager avoids complicated explanations and also avoids misunderstandings.

 
Fileshare in the age of digitization
 
Of course, they still exist: large-format plans on paper that are used on the construction site, in the office and during construction meetings. You can draw, twist and fold them - sometimes paper simply has indisputable advantages. But in many situations digital plans are now replacing paper. By eliminating the need to print out six versions of a plan to get the opinion of everyone responsible, many trees have already been saved. Digital platforms that are located on remote servers and can be viewed by everyone involved ensure an optimal flow of information between project manager, architect, technician and customer. With the new fileshare models, it is possible to upload, sort, save, modify and share documents almost without limits. In addition to the plans, data sheets of various materials, orders, quotations, meeting minutes, approvals and letters are filed without the need to work with thick files and tons of paper. However, it is important to agree on a common nomenclature for all documents at the beginning of a project so that a newer version of a plan is recognized as such. This prevents outdated information from making the rounds.

Of course, most of the work is done by the computer scientist - he or she has to manage the platform, create and manage accesses so that everyone can see what is important to him or her. Of course, restrictions can also be implemented so that companies do not have access to contracts and offers from other companies, while still being able to see all the plans that they have to follow during execution. Managers, customers and engineers, on the other hand, see all documents managed on the platform. The possibilities are many and the platforms are constantly evolving. Many projects use the new technology from different providers, which gradually increases acceptance.

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