Mobile devices are improving workflows in the office and on work sites, with most companies embracing mobile as readily as some once stuck with pen and paper. The presence of mobile devices on worksites is so constant, it might be said the iPad is the new clipboard.

According to JB Knowledge’s 2017 Construction Technology Report, 83 percent of respondents found mobile capabilities to be important or very important for performing their work. Adoption of apps and devices has grown since 2013, with respondents in 2016 saying they were using fewer mobile devices daily in nearly every single category.

“A possible explanation for the decrease in apps and devices in play may be because respondents are eschewing the use of multiple devices in favor of a single device for multiple purposes,” the report says.

The most prominent companies in the project management niche named by respondents are familiar ones to those in the industry. The top three mobile apps companies are using are Procore, Blubeam, and Plangrid.

“Year after year, the top mobile apps identified by this report are solutions for integrating workflow processes between the field and office. There is a significant appetite for mobile, project-focused tools that enhance collaboration and communication,” the report states.

Whether the three big companies mentioned are grabbing more market share and thus driving more integrations, or more companies across the board are working harder to integrate technologies or both, is hard to tell. The data seems to show that while more apps are available, a core group of successful construction tech firms is forming.

“Last year’s Con Tech Report solidified the necessity of apps in the construction industry. Although this year’s data indicates more mobile software apps available than ever before, respondents reported using fewer apps than previous years. The shrinking number of apps in use may be due to the emergence of more robust all-in-one apps,” the report states. Strangely, 16.9 percent of respondents found mobile capabilities Not Very Important.

Just several years ago, some workers on some construction sites were still a bit gun-shy in starting to use apps and mobile devices. It appears, from the results of the JBKnowledge 2017 Construction Technology Report, mobile tools are now the rule on construction sites. Those companies that have not gone mobile, now are the exception.