Estimating Software Moves to the Cloud
The Construction industry is digitizing rapidly
Thanks to improved access to broadband internet and the proliferation of mobile digital devices like smart phones, construction professionals are racing to boost their digital toolkits. According to a recent Construction Technology report, businesses in construction are 5% more willing to review software that’s hosted in the cloud.
What is cloud software?
Cloud software, or Software as a Service (SaaS) is a method of software delivery and licensing in which a software application is accessed online via subscription. Processing, storage, and data handling is done offsite on remote servers and/or data farms, which are accessible from any place and any device with an internet connection.
Precious family photos, the playlist for your niece’s wedding, three to five years of your personal tax information. We’ve been storing our personal data in the cloud for a while, and now more and more construction companies are de-centralizing their software systems.
It only makes sense. Discarding costly data storage hardware in favor of distributed technologies allows workers at construction companies to access digital applications and processes in real time at ever-changing job sites, while ensuring the data is accurate.
They’re moving to the cloud because the advantages are numerous: time savings, better cost flexibility, reduction in errors and risk, and elimination of a number of manual tasks.
When should you make the move to cloud software?
Here are some benefits that are crucial for electrical contractors moving to a digital workflow:
- Connected job sites: The reality of construction is that every job is a remote work site; the cloud allows you to have a real time connection to the job site from anywhere.<
- Reduced maintenance: The software provider takes care of upgrades, and continuing support, freeing you to concentrate on what you do best;
- Scalability: SaaS allows companies to easily accommodate unexpected changes in business volume;
- Easy data sharing from the cloud: Technology helps connect project team members while also making project data available to those who need it, whether they are working on site, in the office, or in a remote location.;
- Cost effective: companies don’t have to pay for extensive servers or data architecture
When considering cloud computing for your electrical estimating software, advantages easily outweigh the drawbacks:
- Security: It’s reasonable to worry about the security of company data you can’t see or touch, but data stored in a hard drive can also be vulnerable to theft or another setback such as flood or fire;
- Server downtime: Outages can occur, but they are rare, and most often very speedily rectified;
- Cost and logistics of migrating data: The company will need to make an investment to migrate data from hard drives into the cloud, and/or for digitizing the company’s records in the first place;
- Internet Access: Ensure there’s an offline work around or processes in place if your workforce may be deployed to areas where internet access is spotty, for example downloading files and automatic sync.
Construction specific software is key
Estimation is a business-critical function for procurement and therefore electrical and general contractors by choosing to purchase construction-specific software, rather than purchasing generic software and making modifications.
Using Cloud-based software such as CE Cloud means that companies can better manage growth expectations by only paying for the subscription seats that are needed at one time, rather than investing in hardware for employees and for data storage.