What exactly is cloud computing?
The “cloud” is a tech word with varying definitions. In most cases though, it describes using virtual servers where users get saved data through an online connection stored on a cloud management platform. Providing access in this way is often known as using cloud-based or online services. Others refer to the cloud as including any program that’s used outside of an organization’s firewall. “Moving into the cloud” can mean anything from increasing data capacity without needing to invest in additional IT infrastructure to licensing a new generation of subscription-based and web-viewable software. The cloud definition often is further expanded to include the use of mobile devices like smart phones or tablets and the overall goal of moving towards the cloud is to automate procedures and save time, thereby increasing worker productivity by reducing the amount of menial tasks.
Cloud computing in construction?
Using the cloud in the construction sector has powerful appeal due to the constant change of employees and regular setup of new job site locations. Many employees need better access to business data to help in timely, well-supported decision making and reporting while working in the area. Conversely, the most important office balances the requirement to charge, pay invoices, create financial reports, process payroll, and plan logistics together with the necessity to have offsite workers access and update data to support these purposes–regardless of their location. Conventional client/server software solutions provide users access to the information from specified locations. But cloud technologies have opened up new possibilities that allow immediate connections to be made beyond these conventional pre-configured office websites. It’s currently possible with the cloud to tap into back-office data and reporting performance from any place in a really secure way–where one can access the net.
Cloud computing has transformed several other industries including the private medical industry. Many private hospitals are now relying on cloud technologies to coordinate both patient data and logistics; from national databases that quickly allow for medical history to be accessed from any hospital, to tracking of supplies like every hospital mattress needed for every bed , many industry pundits are excited about what cloud computing can do for construction
Construction companies are positioned to benefit greatly from the cloud’s ability to provide greater freedom and ease to get information anytime, anywhere–from satellite offices, job sites or customer locations that span across the planet.
Bringing builders and owners together
Leveraging cloud-based services also extends beyond the workings of a single construction firm. Today’s construction professionals work within a group, but “staff” has taken on a whole new meaning. General contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are expected to have a high degree of transparency and accountability to the property owner. Team members also have to be highly collaborative to be able to meet the client and create an advantage in an extremely competitive industry, an advantage that will set up the team for getting future business and opportunities for expansion. Cloud-based technologies are best suited to connect all important team members; increase opportunities for staff cooperation, and increase management and proprietor visibility, these indirect benefits really do highlight the importance of investment in cloud technology. Having access to the right information at the right time creates opportunities for improved collaboration and reduces mistakes and increases project profitability. To be the additive required to produce those outcomes, cloud solutions should ensure that staff members can easily find and see the information they require at the time they need it most. And management has to be absolutely sure they finally control who sees the data provided and can limit or restrict access as needed to safeguard sensitive data. As general contractors, subcontractors, and owners look to the net to leverage its capabilities, top regions of concern will continue to be ease-of-use, safety, and timely access to the perfect functionality and information. Addressing these issues with the perfect technology will free up project teams to concentrate on their job, producing quality work on time and within budget.
Workplace mobility solutions
As in most industries, it has become quite common to see construction employees use their own mobile devices while working at work. Based on Constructech’s IT survey, the sort of apparatus used by construction workers vary depending on the job site. Tablets are increasing rising in use on the work site. This poll confirms the value mobile devices are providing construction companies by enabling employees to not only report from the area but execute project management, GPS fleet tracking, scheduling, and time monitoring tasks in the area today. Given the broad adoption and use of mobile devices by building workers for private use, today’s construction software solutions will need to leverage this worker attention and work to serve up the job information and capacities in this format to propel construction productivity to the future.
Transitioning to the cloud
Should your building firm scrap current investments or practices to leverage cloud technologies? It makes more sense to expand and leverage the software you use already and invest in the cloud in which there are obvious benefits to doing this, bettering your technology footprint throughout your field operations.