Over the years, people have witnessed hi-tech construction projects over the globe. Big-sized buildings, multi-level malls, and skyscrapers, etc. have all been designed to perfection in different parts of the world. But at the bottom of it all, there lies the work of contractors working under the immense pressure of project completion and deadlines.
One of the most basic but critical aspects related to the construction industry is cost management and work scheduling. Contractors need to ensure that the total project cost falls under the estimated budget.Similarly, they have to set the pace of work in such a way that the project gets completed on time. It all implies that this industry, which is known to be one of the least digitized industries in the world, needs to get helped with advanced technology.
Image Source: McKinsey
Over the past few years, cloud computing has started to reshape this industry to a good extent. Several different software such as Sage 100 Contractor, Sage 300 CRE, etc. that are designed for contractors works best with additional benefits when hosted on the cloud.
As per a survey conducted by Sage in 2012, around 15% of contractors felt cloud computing was important for their business. However, in 2017, this number elevated to 85% of construction contractors using or planning to use cloud-based solutions.
If you are also running a construction firm, but haven’t yet opted for cloud hosting services, now is the best time to understand why you should.
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Benefits of Cloud Computing For Construction Industry
There is not just one, but a good number of construction-specific benefits of cloud computing for contractors and real estate business owners. Some of them are detailed as follows –
1. Improved Flexibility at Work
One of the most common problems faced by contractors in the construction industry is of managing the work at different construction sites simultaneously.
Unlike office-based jobs, wherein you need to work and stay in an office, the job responsibilities of contractors are much more complicated. They have to visit different sites in person to keep a check on the progress of work done. Even having advanced construction software located at office computers does not help them a lot.
But with the help of cloud hosting services, managing work-related tasks become easier for them. For instance, having Sage construction software like Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 CRE hosted on a cloud and not just on a local system gives them the flexibility to track the work at different sites easily anytime and anywhere. They can use their smartphones and other portable devices to access real-time updates of the work done using the cloud-hosted software.
It all adds up to their work efficiency and makes them highly flexible to handle work-related responsibilities.
2. Top-Level Data Security
Whether it is related to a construction site design, regular updates or issues that are arising, project data needs to be handled safely. It forms a significant part of a project’s roadmap until the time of its completion. Keeping this data saved into the local computers installed in your office makes it vulnerable to disruptive events such as system damage, data theft, etc.
Loss of a construction project related data means blunder for the contractor working on it. But you can be at the safe side by opting for cloud storage solutions. You can get the business-related software and data hosted on the cloud to keep them safe in all situations. Only the authorized users are given access to the data saved on the cloud. This adds an extra layer of safety over it.
Most of the cloud service providers make use of data security methods such as data encryption, intrusion detection, firewalls, etc. to keep their client’s data safe and secure.
3. Real-time Collaboration and Ease of File Sharing
As per your experience as a contractor, you will agree to the fact that there are a number of stakeholders with whom you need to share project-related updates. Plus, it is also vital to work in collaboration with different teams at the same time to meet the project deadlines.
In today’s highly competitive world of business, loss of productive time means loss of money. By continuing to share data across the stakeholders through emails or messages, you waste a lot of time. This is where cloud can be of great help.
Cloud-based construction software and data can be made accessible to authorized parties to help them collaborate in real-time. You can even give your clients access to the data so that they can look at the updates themselves, without waiting for your detailed emails of progress reports.
The best part – multiple users can access and work upon the same file saved in the cloud simultaneously. As a result, each of them can work with higher efficiency individually to complete the project on time.
To streamline the workflow amongst different parties involved in a construction project, opting for cloud hosting can be highly advantageous for you.
4. Money Savings
As a part of the construction industry, you always want to grow your business and serve more clients. But at the backend, it would also mean that you need to invest in the IT infrastructure to support your business. Primarily, you will need more computer systems with higher storage capacity to save project-related data, multiple software to support your business, IT support team, and much else.
If yours is a small business, you may think twice before making the required investment. One of the most practical solution to be followed for a contractor is to utilize the advantages of cloud maximally. You need not invest in buying and maintaining high-end IT infrastructure at your end. The cloud service provider will take care of it all. Based on your business-specific needs, you can choose among the cloud-subscription plans offered and pay only for what you use.
Picking up the right cloud solution for your needs will ultimately result in higher ROI and productivity.
5. Minimum Downtime
No matter how much you try preventing downtime, it happens at the time of scaling up in-house IT infrastructure. If your business is growing at a good rate, you do want to scale up, but not at the cost of downtime. This may even cause loss of work productivity to some extent.
To prevent this from occurring to your construction business, cloud computing can benefit you in the long run. Renowned cloud service providers are known for maintaining server uptime as high as 99.999%. It is rare that their servers go down. This is why you might have found a lot of fellow contractors switching to the cloud to support their business and maintain higher work productivity.
Whenever you want to scale up the resources, all that you need to do is to connect with the chosen cloud service provider. They will do the needful for you in almost no time.
Summing It Up
In these benefits of cloud technology for the construction industry, you must have found one or more reasons why you should adapt to it too.
Cloud technology is flexible, secure, and cost-effective. It can prevent financial drains, which commonly happens to contractors. Now is the right time to utilize it maximally for your business.
To better understand how cloud hosting can help you grow your construction business, contact our Solutions Consultant right away.