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CIO meets mobile challenges head-on

Tom Kaneshige | July 8, 2014
In some ways, veteran CIO Sam Lamonica is an old dog learning new tricks.

In some ways, veteran CIO Sam Lamonica is an old dog learning new tricks.

As the top technology strategist at Rosendin Electric, an electrical contractor in Silicon Valley, Lamonica has had to reverse his views on everything from the iPad to rogue mobile apps. He's had to place big bets on mobile device management (MDM) technology, quickly create a mobile environment for app development and support, and adopt emerging mobile platforms practically overnight.

"We're starting to see convergence happening, and it's hard to keep up," Lamonica says.

Winning in the brave new world of mobility sometimes means casting aside tried-and-true best practices. Mobility has turned companies, markets and people on their heads. There are huge opportunities and equally daunting challenges that demand new ways of thinking about employees, competitors and risk.

It's no wonder many companies' mobile strategies and execution fall flat. Only about two out of five companies have made good progress in their mobility efforts, according to a recent Accenture survey of nearly 1,500 C-level executives. The majority of mobile strategies fall short of expectations, while some outright fail.

Lamonica, however, was able to avoid this fate -- in part, by embracing change.

Developing iPad Apps Aren't So Crazy After All

Only a few years ago, Lamonica told one of his C-level peers that he thought developing iPad apps in the construction business was crazy. A few months later, he was doing it.

In the last 12 months, Lamonica has overseen the creation of three iPad apps that not only make life easier for the foreman, superintendent and electrician, but also helped Rosendin Electric win new business, including some of the biggest construction contracts in the valley.

The first app, called the QR Code app, solved one of the construction industry's longtime problems: getting the right equipment and supplies to the right job site.

In the past, equipment and supplies would arrive haphazardly to job sites, if at all. Now QR codes containing information such as when and where a piece of equipment is supposed to go are slapped on equipment and supplies.

When they arrive at a job site, the material handler scans the QR code using an iPad and learns that they go to, say, the third floor, east wing of the building under construction. There, the foreman scans the QR code using an iPad, which automatically tells the system that the supplies have arrived.

Another iPad app, called Material and Tool Management app, lets the foreman order equipment, supplies and tools on the spot while at the job site. Both QR Code app and Material and Tool Management app tie into construction management software BIM 360 Field from Autodesk.


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