Cloud computing is transforming many industries, including the construction industry. Companies are able to save on operating fees and costs by utilizing a cloud software provider. Adoption of cloud computing is proceeding at a pace and is likely to continue to grow in the future. It is changing the construction industry and bringing various benefits.
Collaboration Between Employees and the Office
Construction companies usually have offices for business operations such as administration and billing but many activities happen on job sites. Cloud computing allows contractors to access emails, documents, plans and more from the site they’re working on and collaborate with staff back in the office.
Collaboration Between Teams Improves
When everyone can tap into the same network, syncing up and connecting different teams and job sites is possible. Project managers can easily gain insight into how teams are doing and keep everyone in the loop.
With all teams involved in a project being able to post updates in real-time, overall coordination improves. This can be about something as small as an extra flat washer order being needed on a certain site to a schedule setback due to flooding or other unforeseen circumstance.
Cross-Collaboration with Other Contractors Improves
Cross-collaboration between various contractors also improves with accurate and real-time sharing of documents and processes.
Online tools and applications are used to edit documents in the cloud so that everyone works on the latest version. As the size of files grows, access and performance do not change, which is important for those using mobile devices.
Access to Real-Time Metrics
With so many devices connected to a central network, a vast amount of data is available. Project managers can get detailed stats on work in progress, whether safety protocols are being followed and much more.
It’s possible to build up a detailed overview of a project and have a more realistic insight into how long it might take. Making more informed decisions is possible when a vast amount of data is available. This may be as simple a decision as what specialty metal washers and shims should be used on a particular project.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Cloud computing is dependent on an internet connection or wireless signal. When the signal is poor, this can result in downtime. At worst, an environmental disaster, such as severe winds, could result in no internet connection at all. When on-site workers have no way of communicating with the office, they can’t receive important instructions.
Project managers aren’t able to deliver commands to teams, such as that the client has requested that metal flat washers be used on a job. Another risk factor is security–having a network open to the internet and many devices can be a security risk.
Communication delays between teams, design offices and project managers can quickly burn up profits. Fortunately, cloud computing is enabling collaboration to become easier to achieve. Everyone on the job site has access to up-to-the-minute documents and drawings and everyone in the office has immediate access to what is happening on a job site. As long as connectivity is reliable, it can be a major asset for many organizations.