When we originally launched the kykloud condition surveying app back in May, the term ‘disruptive technology’ was mentioned to us many times by clients and industry contacts who immediately understood the potential wider implications this type of innovation could have.  The app offers to change the way building surveying is carried out and drive efficiencies and accuracy in an industry where major innovation has been few and far between.

Looking back over the past 50 years there has been a small number of light bulb moments which truly changed the building surveying industry.  Each new innovation has made surveying smarter, faster and more accurate but as you would expect with any industry innovation, the key to success has been simple – create a more efficient way of working and the industry will follow.

Take for example the digital camera.  Not an innovation that was invented purely for the surveying field but a technology development which not only saved money in the printing and developing of site pictures but impacted on the immediacy and accuracy of surveying reports.  Whilst to the general population the introduction of digital cameras meant greater control over imagery and unlimited chances to get pictures, they also had a major ripple effect on the surveying industry.  Shots could be taken on site to be downloaded and inserted into a report immediately, removing the need for developing altogether and taking out the possibility of human error in the developing/photography process.

Incidentally, whilst the digital camera has been a major innovation for building surveyors it’s interesting to note that whilst access to the images is immediate, the administration behind including the images in a report in the correct sections can be a long-winded process.  The kykloud condition surveying app recognises this, using the camera functionality of the iPad to allow users to take and tag photos into reports immediately.  This simple function essentially takes a major administrative requirement of the reporting process and removes the need for it entirely.

There have been other innovations in building surveying which have been significant in their impact over the years.  The introduction of CAD for example, although developed many years before its adoption by the industry in the 1990’s (thanks to greater availability of PC’s) it was one of the biggest innovations in design and construction and finally took the industry from the drawing board to the computer.  The importance of CAD on the surveying industry cannot be underestimated, eventually leading to the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to look beyond design and offer data to understand the lifecycle or operational life of a building.

It is in the area of lifecycle asset management that kykloud is an industry leader.  Kykloud uses BIM to sort building data into an online asset database, with the condition surveying app forming the data collection part of the process.  It is the accuracy, speed and detail of the data collection that is key to the innovation– offering a 50% time-saving on traditional surveying time when managed using the condition surveying kyloud app but supporting BIM through detailed data collection which can create instant reports and support immediate access to asset data.

If CAD took us from the drawing board to the PC then the PC led us to experience the many highs and lows associated with the rise of the spreadsheet.  Construction cost planning only went digital in the 90’s, before moving to local databases in the 2000’s.  Whilst much can be said of the reliability of spreadsheets, they were a revelation in offering clear budget visibility and outcomes across projects in a way that just had not been possible up until that point.  Unfortunately, our reliance on spreadsheets has led to an overestimation of their use as an accurate project tool.  With the storage of data now moving ever more quickly towards the cloud, the spreadsheet has outlived its use and this fallible form of data collection and analysis is fast looking out of date.  Kykloud offers the flexibility and value of spreadsheets but without the obvious failings; teams can access the data from any location, the software is simple and easy to navigate with no fussy formulas and individually geared to each building or asset.  In short, kykloud has taken yet another innovation for the building surveying industry and turned it on its head to create the next step in the evolution of the industry.

It may have taken the industry quite some time to move from pen and paper to the computer but what does the future hold for the kykloud condition survey app which reduces surveying time by 50%?  The early adopters in the industry have already taken note of how this kind of handheld digital technology could impact on working practices, company efficiency and consequently market competitiveness and are already rolling out the kykloud app in their business.  Could this be the moment that kykloud helped to take the surveying industry from pen, paper and the PC to the iPad and the cloud?