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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Some Good Ol’ IT History

Although some would deny it, Construction Contracting and Information Technology walk hand in hand. What puts this hand-holding couple together is the contractors’ need for communication, measurements, and the information gained through the tech of the moment.

For example, since about 2400 BC, folks have used an abacus to sort out how much is owed. Of course, we don’t know if they had a percentage of completion capability. 😉

The Slow Slide to More Info and Tech

There’ve been many steps along the way, and I’m not going to try to mention them all. But here are a few highlights:

  • By 1450 Johannes Gutenberg had a printing machine perfected and ready to use commercially: The Gutenberg press.

  • The slide rule was invented in 1622 by William Oughtred. (My dad and others continued to use slide rules up until about the mid-1970s.)

  • In 1642, Blaise Pascal devised what was probably the first simple adding machine using geared wheels.

  • After that, Gottfried W. von Leibniz came in 1671 with an improved mechanism for performing multiplication. It was by the process of repeated addition – but hey – what works, works. Right?

  • The “Difference Engine” was initially created to aid in navigational calculations by Charles Babbage in the early nineteenth century. Mr. Babbage is often referred to as the Father of the Computer.

Following all these steps and a few more centuries, we find ourselves with devices that bring the magic. So much so that now, abstract representations of calculators or simulations on our laptops (or even more impressive) our smartphones are commonplace.

There’s a Term for That

So, information technology has been mingling in with life, work, and the trades for a very long time.

But the term “information technology” has been around only a short time. A 1958 Harvard Business Review article titled Management in the 1980s had this to say on the subject:

“Over the last decade a new technology has begun to take hold in American business, one so new that its significance is still difficult to evaluate . . . The new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology.”


IT in 2021

Nowadays, the term IT is (mostly) used when referencing computers and their components.

Some of the things we’ve come to expect from our computers are the capabilities to:

  • Exchange

  • Generate

  • Handle

  • Manipulate

  • Regain

  • Secure

  • Store

  • Study

  • Transmit

And all those things we expect boil down to data and information, which is where we started.

Ancient IT Revisited

The fun part? You can get an app for the abacus available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Or, this abacus app from Google Play.

Construction Junction Connection

Be sure to tune into the latest Construction Junction podcast today on YouTube or one of your favorite podcast channels. Tonya interviews Andrew Lassise, founder and CEO of Rush Tech Support. Also, a Rush Tech Support user Monique Swansen, founder and CEO of Automated Accounting Services, joins the fun.

Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:

  • Clients and customers

  • Employees and subcontractors

  • Vendors and service providers

  • Governmental entities

Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:

  • Remain informed

  • Avoid hassles

  • Reduce risks

  • Be future-ready

Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735


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