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The use of cloud computing in the workplace might, for most people, conjure up images of bustling, high-tech inner-city offices or colleagues in disparate locations collaborating seamlessly on the same project.
A construction site, on the other hand, is perhaps not the first thing that would come to mind. However, it is becomingly increasingly clear that the cloud can optimise nearly every level of the construction process, from back-office processes to the building site itself.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the numerous, diverse benefits that cloud solutions can bring to the construction industry.
Working in the construction industry means keeping up with a constant pace of change at nearly every level of the job. Projects, work site locations and, of course, workers themselves change with extreme frequency.
Managers in the construction space need the operational capacity to stay abreast of all these things: overseeing numerous, regularly changing job sites; liaising with onsite construction staff and arranging in-person visits to different locations.
If a construction company adopts a cloud infrastructure, these multi-faceted tasks become far simpler and more efficient. A centralised cloud infrastructure, accessible from anywhere, enables managers to easily keep abreast of information, details and data from any number of sites as and when they change.
When it comes to construction, there’s no one office and workplaces are constantly shifting. Every time there’s a new job, a new satellite office of the company running the site is established.
If a construction firm only has an on-premises infrastructure at its head office, this often means that managers working on-site will need to leave the site and journey to the office in order to perform certain tasks and make updates to project information.
Clearly, this can be a time-consuming impediment to overseeing construction and often leads to on-site staff sending reams of paperwork into the office in order to save themselves the trip, creating a backlog in head office.
A cloud solution negates this issue, enabling on-site staff to access important information and applications simply by logging in to the environment from their device at whatever satellite office they may be at.
A construction project is inherently collaborative, with its success reliant on contractors, suppliers, management, site owners and even architects working together seamlessly and efficiently.
A cloud-based solution is perfect for fostering such a highly-collaborative work environment, in which vital project data can be instantly shared and enabling people in separate locations to collaborate in real time.
What’s more, the cloud increases the oversight that management and owners can have over the specific workings of a project. With all the necessary data and information in one environment, costly mistakes can be more easily spotted and remedied and the entire operation can be made more collaborative and efficient.
When it comes to construction, everything from the site design, to issues arising on the job comprise data that is vital to the project. The security of this data is absolutely paramount in order to prevent damage or theft that could be severely damaging to the project’s successful completion.
With a cloud storage solution, construction companies can access the best data security measures to protect their projects, from firewalls to data encryption. What’s more, many cloud providers will promote the use of minimum permissions, meaning that only authorised users are able to access certain data and cutting the chance of a breach.
At a construction company, costs run high for everything from manual labour to the raw materials needed to complete a project. The last thing a construction firm needs, then, is another costly overhead in the form of a physical, on-premises infrastructure that will either become outdated and require an update or break and need replacing.
With a cloud solution, there is no need to invest in costly physical infrastructure. You pay for what you need, with the cost of maintenance built in and handled by your cloud provider, and can scale up to meet your specific requirements at any time.
Construction is an industry requiring mobility, flexibility and collaboration in order to succeed. With a cloud solution, construction firms can unlock a multitude of benefits that can make project management simpler, collaboration easier and more fruitful and, ultimately, make their business more cost-effective, competitive and agile.