Cloud solutions in constructionIt’s been more than a decade now since the introduction of smart devices and their market is still growing. But that’s not the point. Those devices brought interconnectivity and mobility to unprecedented levels when it comes to project management as their sizes are still shrinking, but their functionalities are exponentially growing.

For some reason, however, the impressive technology advancement doesn’t seem to influence the built environment, which still remains committed to its traditional practices.

The workflow that best represents that is the project communication, where managers still use printed drawings, handwritten journals. Physical documentation will always play a big role in construction for a reason, but that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t adjust to changes and ease up their workflow through meaningful virtual solutions. The skeptical attitude is groundless and while such option might be more expensive in the short term, it certainly removes a good portion of risks and delivers a long-standing methodology to go by.

Keeping all of the above in mind, I’m presenting the top reasons I believe to be most beneficial for construction companies when it comes to cloud solutions.

Why should use Cloud based construction document management?

1. Cost and Profitability

As in any other company, I’m guessing the “how to cut expenses“ topic is one of the main ones during your quarterly company reviews, hence cost for new implementation would be highly discussed. It’s often the largest and most difficult barrier especially when it comes to new technology integration, it also provides shareholders with a good excuse to completely disregard the topic.

The thing is – many product vendors offer free document sharing solutions, that might depend on the amount of documentation you want to share and amongst how big of a project team, but some products might never cost you a dime. Such services capitalize on other paid features that would be beneficial to their users, but not the ground ones. If you would go for paid features, be sure to select a product, whose paid tiers make sense for your company, enabling your business to scale to an affordable rate.

On the other side of the coin lies the passive profitability. The biggest advantage of such cloud solutions would be the reduced time and money spent on documentation plus excluding the unnecessary risks that come with it. Poor communication or misinformation would practically disappear as everyone would have up to date sketches, drawings, and plans.

2. Accessibility

Advancement of technology has made communication easy for almost anyone on the planet. The majority of your workforce already has smartphones, so why not use it beneficially to you? Whether it’s a company issued or personally owned devices, you should establish parameters of appropriate use to maintain a high level of integrity of the company’s security. Adding a document sharing application to their smart devices comes at a small cost but shows astonishing results. Design drawings, safety plans and any other documentation that you would otherwise normally carry on a physical copy can now be put on a device that fits into a pocket.

3. Real-Time Collaboration and Storage Size

Supervisors can have the needed permission to do real time changes in the documentation. This way they can update any latest information and spread it across the whole construction site in every smartphone, tablet or computer. Such virtual solutions enable them to choose what information they want to send and to whom in a matter of seconds. You wouldn’t have to worry whether or not different project personnel has the latest information, you wouldn’t have to hard-copy print and distribute pieces of paper, nor send mass emails to the whole workforce.

Storage size often used to lead to certain limitation when it came to sharing the project documentation. Attachments often were too big to share via email and printing it would be even more of a nuisance as spreading them would be quite time-consuming. Cloud document sharing has an almost limitless capacity as some services offer enough memory to house more than 85 million pages of documentation while not occupying a single bite in your mobile device. The problem that can arise is when the job site offers little to no internet connectivity, which would impede the file sharing between devices, but there are solutions even to such scenarios.

Cloud CRM and the Advantages it Poses

The technology is improving by leaps and bounds and so are the digital services. With this in mind, the introduction of cloud sharing capacities has significantly changed the way we utilize our resources.

Furthermore, even though there has been a lot of debate surrounding the perks of going for cloud CRM software, the advantages are undeniable. Let’s take a look at some of them in order to comprehend how beneficial CRM Hosting services could actually be.

Immediate Drop of Expenses

Using a cloud is going to cut the need of physical storage devices immediately. This means that you could also say goodbye to all of the expenses in relation. Setting up an industrial CRM system is hard and expensive enough, let alone the management and maintenance that come afterwards. Relying on CRM professional hosting service providers is going to save you all of the above as the provider is going to take care of them. Furthermore, you wouldn’t have to worry about updates as this is also included in the service package and the provider is obligated to regularly update the software.

Constant Accessibility

This is another thing that you would have to consider. With CRM hosting services you’d be capable of accessing the information that’s been stored on the cloud on the go, regardless of your location. This is going to improve the overall performance of your services and it’s also going to shatter the location-imposed chains that require you to access your information only from the physical machine. With this in mind, CRM Professional hosting allows incredible versatility and reveals a lot of advantages in comparison.

It’s More Secure

The cloud is going to safely store your information and you can be sure that there won’t be any issues with black-outs or HDD crashes. Furthermore, you could easily manage and distribute the information throughout the entire enterprise without relying on carriers such as USB storage devices and others of the kind. Managed hosting VPS reveals significant benefits in this particular regard and is definitely going to boost your overall corporative performance.

However, it’s also worth noting that cloud CRM also has some drawbacks as it’s definitely not flawless. Right off the bat, you are going to be sharing sensible corporate information with a third party. Even though you are going to be thoroughly protected by the privacy policy of the managed hosting VPS provider, you have to go ahead and check it extensively in order to ensure that everything is according to your particular expectations.

Why not go hybrid?

The hybrid cloud is most certainly becoming a significant differentiator. In today’s fast-moving landscape of technologies, this is something that’s progressively making an impact. This is without a doubt the next step in the overall evolution when it comes to cloud computing. Those businesses which manage to draw the maximum value of hybrid cloud manage to stand on top of their market rivals. However, let’s take a look at some of the trends which surround both private cloud and public cloud.

The Trends

In 2016 about 32% of the organizations cited that there is a lack of expertise as well as resources. By far, this is the number one challenge for almost a third of the companies on the market. Clearly, better understanding and clarity are a top priority.

26% of the organizations stated that the management of the costs related to clouds is a tremendous challenge. Now, this is an increase as compared to the results back in 2013 when only 18% of the organizations complained about the same issue.

62% of the organizations which took part in the survey of Microsoft responded that the levels of privacy protection effectively rose as a direct result of integrating hybrid cloud. Almost two-thirds of the global IT companies on the market are unanimous that integrating the cloud within the operational overload of companies is going to create greater flexibility as well as security as compared to other cloud models.

So, Why Companies Choose Hybrid Cloud?

Well, for an organization which is running a wide range of different applications over a variety of legacy systems, the hybrid cloud is the most effective solution for managing the tremendously challenging and rather complex landscape of Internet Technologies.

Moreover, organizations are seeking for an opportunity to further boost productivity by integrating critical and paramount applications in private clouds. On top of that, public clouds host applications which are attracting fewer concerns regarding security.

As you know, a hybrid cloud environment is presenting the enterprise with the power of both public and private platforms which provides them with a chance to grow as well as to effectively innovate at a much lower cost. The IDC predicts that about 80% of the IT organizations are going to commit to certain hybrid cloud structures by the end of 2017.

In any case, this is a solution which delivers a tremendous amount of value in terms of flexibility, cost-efficiency, scaling, security and many more. It is pretty much mandatory for a rapidly expanding enterprise or for already established ones to integrate appliances into solutions of the kind.

About Author: Joel Roberts is a Project Management Consultant and an established author with more than 12 years of experience in working for Seavus Project Viewer and PrimaveraReader – solutions for viewing and analyzing project plans by the project team. She is passionate about Mind Mapping and innovation management and her articles have been featured in more than a hundred project management and business websites.