Caterpillar Inc. is laying off about 20,000 workers, equal to more than 10% of its global workforce, and is planning for an expected 25% drop in sales volume this year as it attempts to wrangle in costs. The Peoria, Ill.-based heavy-equipment manufacturer informed investors on Jan. 26 that a rapidly deteriorating global economy and plunging commodity prices “whipsawed” the company’s otherwise bullish sales year in 2008. Cat posted record earnings for the fourth quarter, thanks mostly to booming Asian and Latin American markets. For the year, it raked in a record $51.3 billion in revenue, up 14% annually, with profits
The growing need to collect, store and analyze the huge volumes of data collected from infrastructure project stakeholders is generating a new growth area for construction-sector firms, IT vendors and professionals.