Michael Cisar, Ryvit: “construction tech will become excitingly accessible once automated data flow is a normalized reality"

With the technology available today, more industries are able to gain control over their data.

While many imagine companies digitizing their documents or adopting tools like antivirus firewalls and VPN solutions when talking about digital transformation, the recent advancements in technology can enhance the company processes in more ways than that.

To talk about the innovations in the construction tech field, we invited Michael Cisar, Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy at Ryvit – a company helping businesses in the construction industry to gain more value from their data.

Tell us more about your story. What has the journey been like for Ryvit?

Ryvit’s journey has been one driven by demand. We were born out of an IT consulting firm when we kept receiving consistent requests from several construction clients regarding their issues with data flow between various systems in their respective technology stacks.After careful diligence, we determined that there was a significant unmet need in the construction technology space with respect to automated data flow. We’ve since built the first and most effective iPaaS for construction technology. Customers and partners continue to think up new ways to deploy the platform and further drive impressive adoption rates and ROI around their favorite tools – including everything from AP to timekeeping to equipment management and telematics.

Can you tell us a little bit about your iPaaS? What are its key features?

It’s pretty simple, actually. We put data at the center of the conversation. Our platform makes it possible for any point solution to share data automatically with any other point solution on the network.Data flow is much more complicated than simply connecting to an API. For starters, not all APIs are created equally. Some are more comprehensive. Some are open. Some are REST. Some are JSON. Some are SOAP.Furthermore, not all endpoints within those APIs are compatible. Some are open fields, some are normalized lists, some have character counts, and some allow special characters.If a point solution wants to provide maximum value to its prospects and customers, then the imperative is to make it easy to integrate with other tools that the customer prefers for other tasks.Herein lies the power of Ryvit’s iPaaS. Point solutions connect to one API – Ryvit’s iPaaS API. After that, they simply need to define dataflow logic in a no-code environment on our platform. And this effort can be done in a matter of days instead of weeks or even months.It’s a much more scalable approach to integrations. Now, point solutions don’t have to decide if their engineering resources are going to be spent on core product improvements or integration requests from customers and prospects. They stay laser-focused on their core product and leverage the Ryvit iPaaS for exponential and accelerated integration deployment.

In your opinion, what are some of the most pressing issues surrounding the construction industry nowadays?

In the early 2010s, there was an explosion of new technology solutions for the construction industry. The “promise” from tech companies was centered on efficiency and profitability. And in most cases, construction technology has been able to deliver on that promise. However, as it stands today, many construction firms have built entire IT departments simply to manage data flow. A lot of the ROI isn’t being transferred to profitability, but rather to support a new “cost center” in the IT department.This is not good. An industry that only fuels a new line item is not sustainable. We believe that the ROI in construction tech will only truly become exciting once automated data flow between systems becomes a normalized experience. At the moment, it’s still only being adopted by the “tech-savvy” construction firms. In our opinion, the next 5 years will usher in a true emphasis on data flow in construction technology. Firms that include the question “but does it integrate with (fill in the blank)?” will be the ones to succeed and gain significant improvements in their profitability.

How do you think did the recent global events affect your field of work? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?

No new challenges for Ryvit, really. We’ve really grown in our empathy for the construction industry, though. In several ways, the industry has blossomed, but in several ways, many people were left behind. Finding good people for various labor forces within the industry remains a dire struggle across the board. Companies continue to look to technology to ensure their most effective people are given every opportunity to succeed and remain efficient.

Why do you think companies often hesitate to try out new and innovative solutions that would enhance their operations?

Well… unfortunately, the tech industry is full of bad players that continue to steal data, hack financial systems, and hold large corporations hostage. In that regard, new technology brings an inherent risk to the table.Solution providers would do well to empathize with their customers’ concerns regarding security protocols, change management costs, and potentially low user adoption rates.At Ryvit, we built the iPaaS to specifically address these concerns. Our platform meets strict security protocols and standards. By automating data flow, we decrease the friction associated with new tools. And as a result, there’s a natural improvement in user adoption rates across the board.

In your opinion, what are some of the worst mistakes companies tend to make when handling large amounts of data?

Industry-wise, the biggest issue is the fact that there are not enough widely adopted best practices for specific data fields.Taxonomy is everything. Normalized data is severely underutilized. Ideally, we would all agree on a comprehensive category tree that can be leveraged by all stakeholders in a project. And while there are organizations working towards that goal (like the Construction Progress Coalition, for example), the longer this issue goes unaddressed the more work we’ll have to correct it down the road.

What other aspects of our daily lives do you hope to see improved by advancements in technology?

I hope technology opens the door for sustainable and natural living for humanity at a macro level. Right now, only people with an above-average income can afford organic and sustainable lifestyles. I’d love to see a future where my kids can rest assured that humanity’s impact on the planet is a net positive instead of a consumeristic situation.

In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security measures everyone should implement on their devices?

There are a lot of ways to protect yourself, and those ways continue to evolve. One easy first step: stop modifying your core password by adding a “1!”. It’s an easy hack.Next, get trained on phishing. Attackers are getting incredibly sophisticated in their efforts to appear legitimate. If you don’t know the signs of a phishing scam, you’re easy prey and you might not even know that you’ve been hacked. I recommend KnowBe4.

What does the future hold for Ryvit?

Growth. I’ve worked for several startups in my career – handling everything from sales to account management, to marketing. I’ve worked with some amazing leadership teams. Ryvit’s track record to this point is built upon the fact that our customers need, want, and love what we do and how we do it. The market fit is proven. The demand continues to grow year after year. The profitability metrics continue to climb at enticing rates. I’m personally very happy with the team we’ve built and I actively encourage people to apply for our open positions. Construction is one of the largest industries in the world, and the opportunity to help drive significant productivity gains is ripe.