Construction Technology/News

Four Themes around Construction in the Cloud

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The cloud is transforming how contractors operate, allowing them to modernize operations and take advantage of the latest technologies.

The cloud has revolutionized how we interact with the world around us. From laptops to smartphones to tablet devices and beyond, we access, ingest and share electronic data by the gigawatt, though many of us rarely give a second thought to how. Streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, social media like Facebook or Twitter online banking or bill-paying portals, music and file-sharing services — these all leverage cloud computing to perform processes that make our lives easier, more convenient, while expanding our universe of knowledge and inclusion.

The enormous successes these cloud-based services and businesses have enjoyed have convinced much of the rest of the business world that real-time, easy-to-access, easy-to-use goods and services are where growth opportunities lie. The construction industry is no different as contractors across the glove are also realizing the benefits of web-based construction software to streamline and simplify processes across their entire operations — from the back office, to the field and beyond.

A report co-produced by Dodge Data & Analytics and Viewpoint earlier this year, Improving Performance with Project Data, highlights how the cloud has driven improved performance and productivity in construction. Here are four interesting themes and stats uncovered in that report from contractors that were surveyed:

1. Access to Project and Financial Data Seen as Biggest Benefit of the Cloud

The report notes that 71% of respondents noted the improved ability to access real-time data from the field that cloud-based, construction-specific software platforms provide, while 70 percent noted the ability to easily access data from the office while working in the field. And, 61 percent noted the ability for teams in remote locations to input of access data. Additional data storage (55%) and the cloud being less expensive that on-premise or third-party hosting (43%) were also noted benefits

In addition, cloud-based construction software can expand collaboration across your entire project team; automate tasks and processes to replace multiple steps or duplicate data entry, streamline your construction workflows and power real-time business intelligence tools.

2. Many Contractors Have Still Yet to Make the Move to a Full Cloud Experience

The bulk of contractors surveyed (65%) noted they were still using on-premise software and servers to store data and facilitate operational processes. However, a growing number are either moving, or have moved to the cloud. A quarter of respondents are using cloud-based software where their data is hosted by the software provider and 37% are using third-party services like Amazon or Microsoft to host some or all of their data.

If you’re using an integrated, cloud-based construction software platform, like those provided by Viewpoint, you probably have already know of the key benefits to using vendor-provided hosting. Among them: more robust data security as the technology vendor stays on top of the latest threats, technology trends and security measures; less capital expentitures for in-house IT labor and hardware costs; and automated data backups and data redundancy to ensure business continuity should a crisis occur.

3. Reasons for Not Moving to Cloud Vary

Still, many contractors have resisted moving to the cloud for various reasons. Concerns over data security remain the top hesitation, with 42% of general contractors and 44% of specialty contractors listing this as their top reason for remaining with on-premise software. Cost was also an issue, with 44% of specialty contractors reporting they felt it would be too expensive to move and 32% of general contractors noting they had already invested in previous on-site software and server needs.

Security concerns have largely been addressed and leading cloud software providers continue to implement the latest data security measures on a regular basis. In fact, the greater security concerns now many actually lie with on-premise software as in-house networks are often more vulnerable to outside threats. Contractors that lack extensive IT teams trained to watch for the latest breaches to their networks, or with limited backup capabilities could find themselves at greater risk for business interruptions. The costs involved with modernizing, meanwhile, are often offset by the improved functionality and productivity that contractors experience with cloud-based solutions, as well as costs saved from in-house hardware and labor hours across all teams dealing with data entry and accessibility. Here are 10 benefits you’re missing if you’re not operating in the cloud.

4. Contractors Becoming More Familiar, Comfortable With Emerging Technologies

There have been many construction technology advancements in recent years — from powerful data analytic and business intelligence solutions to artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning and robotics. These innovations have contractors excited about what they can do. Some 21% of contractors noted they already have experience with predictive analysis of their projects; while 47% of contractors understand, but have not yet implemented AI and 33% understand but have not et implemented machine learning.

These are all innovations that require data to be stored and processed in the cloud to work effectively. Most construction technologies being developed today are being built in the cloud, meaning that contractors right now have an important decision to make. Do you stay put on software that may soon be outdated or not supported with latest versions and new functionality, or do you make the move to modernize and get out ahead of emerging technologies?

Why ViewpointOne is the Answer to Your Modern Construction Needs

ViewpointOne is a complete, integrated, cloud-based construction management solution that provides users with a single source of data truth.

When moving to the cloud, it’s important to do so with the right approach. That means you should look for integrated solutions designed for construction, provided by a trusted vendor with a solid track record of both industry experience and ongoing technology investment. This approach provides you with one technology platform, from one vendor and a single source of data truth.

Unlike software that solves a single need for customers or compels them to work within the restraints of a larger, out-of-the-box ERP solution, our ViewpointOne solution provides construction companies with a complete, integrated software suite that seamlessly connects back-office professionals with field operations and entire project teams. Hosted in the cloud, ViewpointOne combines Viewpoint’s own leading construction ERP offerings with its collaborative Team and Field products, giving customers a single source of truth in an integrated and flexible system for managing operations, improving productivity and enabling better decision making.

Whether in the back office, the job trailer or our in the field in a remote location, ViewpointOne users can access, enter and share real-time information, keeping everyone involved in the project on the same page at all times.

And, it’s flexible, allowing users to bundle the functionality they need and scale software to fit their needs, maximizing contractors’ technology investment. With ViewpointOne, contractors get all the tools they need at their disposal — when they need them — allowing contractors to manage their operations and growth on their terms:

  • Access to the latest modern technologies — users automatically have the latest versions of software, optimized for their use, allowing them to take advantage of new tools and solutions as they’re developed.
  • A highly-secure operating environment, with the latest cloud security measures, validated by third-party defense cyber warfare experts
  • The highest level of business continuity protection with automatic data backups and redundancy that exceed industry best practices
  • Stronger, smarter performance with streamlined workflows, automated processes, top-of-the-line operating speeds and advanced interconnectivity
  • Cutting-edge connectivity with low bandwidth 4G LTE support for anywhere, anytime user access – no matter where work takes them, with offline capabilities throughout
  • A proven experience with more than 350,000 daily cloud users, a dedicated cloud support team and peer user groups across the globe

Read more about how ViewpointOne helps each different construction persona work smarter. Or, connect with Viewpoint today to see first-hand how we could help your organization scale for today, tomorrow and beyond.

Posted By

Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.