Surveyors today play a pivotal role throughout a project’s duration and must be armed with the technology to perform beyond traditional expectations. To excel, geospatial professionals use a variety of software solutions specialized for many different activities, data types and trades. The result is improved team collaboration and projects that benefit from shared data and reduced rework.
A recent article in The American Surveyor, written by Trimble’s Boris Skopljak and Tim Lemmon, explores software technology that is changing business processes and allowing for greater surveying efficiency and accuracy than ever before.
Eight Software Management Tips
The article’s authors also share eight best practices for optimizing software capabilities, based on industry experience. Following is a summary of those best practices:
- Be bold and ready to learn. The “way we’ve always done it” is no longer the way to do it. The ability to adopt and adapt to new technologies, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), digital twins and smart cities is critical for geospatial professionals.
- Designate a software czar or team of czars. Take a careful look at your business processes and look for opportunities to improve time and resource efficiencies. Also, know your options by educating yourself, or your czar, on all the available technologies. They change and improve rapidly.
- Consult with an expert. Your geospatial solutions software distributor is a great place to start. There’s also a plethora of educational content and user forums available online. If you need more guidance, consider reaching out to a geospatial software consultant.
- Consider your data--protect it and choose flexibility to share. To maintain your business’s integrity and reputation, you must protect your valuable data and client information. Secure your devices, networks and software updates, and also be sure to back up your data. Many businesses now back up data in the cloud. Trimble Business Center software exemplifies the benefits of data integration and interoperability by providing geospatial professionals with a secure data hub that’s flexible for choosing sensors fit for purpose.
- Select solutions with automated features. We have the power to collect massive amounts of data, but the main goal is to successfully extract meaningful information from those large amounts of rich 3D scanning and imagery datasets, and then sharing that data among project stakeholders.
- Look for customization flexibility. You may find software that does 99% of what you need but is short by one command or operation, and the ability to customize makes it possible to add this functionality. Some software packages also allow users to define their own workflows and extend the software capabilities.
- Push into the cloud. Leveraging the cloud for data processing and extracting information can expedite production and sharing of final deliverables. Project stakeholders can securely review data and collaborate via their web browsers on computers or mobile devices.
- Take advantage of the as-a-service business model. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) or software subscription model continues to evolve to support project workflows, allowing companies to efficiently manage projects and costs. Also, most subscription models allow organizations to pay for only what they use and allocate software costs to specific projects.