Is cloud-based construction management beneficial for everyone? – Planning, BIM & Construction Today

Trimble Viewpoint dispel the negative connotations surrounding cloud-based construction management migration and point out the benefits of moving your data to the cloud

On-premise or cloud-hosted aren’t terms often headlined when it comes to construction management software. Although not as flashy as other software terminology, they deserve as much attention and focus from businesses when looking at construction software.

It seems a mammoth task and one that no one wants to undertake, so it’s reasonable to want to see tangible benefits from moving your construction data and processes to the cloud.

Let’s take a look at three major factors to help remove the mystery surrounding cloud-based construction management, and see why migrating to cloud hosting is a smart, growth-based move for your construction organisation.

Benefits of cloud-based construction management

There are a few big reasons to move to cloud based construction management:

  • One single version of the truth—accessible anywhere, any time. When data is collected and stored in the cloud, it can be accessed securely, through a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and get up-to-date information at your fingertips. Gain insights in real time, from a single source of connected data from across your projects
  • Increased productivity through smarter, faster decisions and fewer business risks. The ability to access real-time data and workflows means you can get the job done faster with fewer continuity risks. On-premise catastrophes like fires or ransomware can mean lost data and delayed projects; cloud-based data is not tied to any single location and is backed up regularly, so business continues even after a potential disaster.
  • Better data security with immediate access to system updates. Digital information stored in the cloud is more secure, with encrypted, user-level permission controls, single sign-on, and multi-factor authentication. Look for SOC II, Type 2 certification for security, and be sure that your connected cloud solution gives you immediate access to the latest software versions, features, improvements, and security updates.
  • Reduced personnel burdens and lower overall costs. The best cloud construction platforms should not require a hefty IT team just to get your technology working. Instead, cloud-based software removes the need to maintain your own servers, roll out software updates across the organisation, perform daily backups and monitor for security threats. Your cloud construction software provider should be saving you money on third-party IT spending and other on-prem hosting costs like hardware maintenance.
  • Role-based licensing to fit the needs of every user. The ability to add or remove licences to quickly adjust for seasonality and growth opportunities within your organisation. Digital cloud-based software also offers dashboards that cater to the role that the individual owns. The ability to add external users to help with larger project teams is huge, with collaborative workflows to remove silos and keep your teams working closely together—even when they’re apart.

The benefits of moving to a connected cloud environment go beyond what your users and employees see everyday—it should showcase its efficiency and effectiveness over time. Much like a modernised infrastructure approach, things like the “commodity maintenance” of hardware and software to care for your servers, which ebbs away at time and money, should deplete over time and leave your employees with more room to do their job. These tasks may include responding to tickets, running backups and other software updates, and other things like ensuring sufficient system redundancy and that critical security updates are in place.

Is there immediate value of Moving to Cloud-Based Construction Management?

Depending on the types of jobs your organisation does will depend on whether a G-Cloud, SOC II, Type 2 data security is a requirement. Even if you’re not contracting for local authorities or government, SOC II Type 2 is an industry-wide best practice that helps shore up cybersecurity.

There’s the compliance angle to consider, and situations in which quickly accessing data for compliance reasons might be particularly important. If a licence or contract has expired and needs to be renewed, cloud-based construction management helps the back office to quickly assess what’s needed in the field in real-time.

With built-in workflows that automatically collect and track compliance documents, you’ll also have documentation for these activities in the event of an audit or compliance event.

Does going cloud-based actually reduce costs?

Lots of time and money can go into maintaining on-prem software, even outside of the server. Most costs revolve around storage, performance, availability, and redundancy. Things like:

  • Coverage in the case of a hardware failure through virtualisation (This means having an exact duplicate of your system that you can access in the case of emergencies, which takes time to create and manage
  • Cloud management, which can often be pushed off to a third-party vendor to avoid risk and help keep your systems running smoothly. (Construction management software providers with great service will do a lot of the work for you)
  • Storage to keep all of your data (which, while cheap, can add up quickly and is a ransomware risk)
  • Different servers to manage for larger or more sophisticated environments
  • Dedicated storage networking to connect the server to the storage

And that’s just a few major aspects of the infrastructure that we’re looking at.

Contractor management software can vastly improve the security and lower the costs associated with on-premise management—by as much as 4x, according to our clients.