Cloud-based or traditional IT structure: which will benefit your construction business? Asks CCS’ Rob Matheson
The world we live in is rapidly moving towards digital for all aspects of business; one of the most aggressive moves is in the construction world. For many years, construction companies have used legacy systems, which have served their purpose. However, with the demand for connectivity and on-demand reports, how would moving to the cloud serve your construction business?
Here are the top reasons you should be considering a move to a cloud-based platform.
Reduced Capital Expenditure
The move to cloud not only offers an operational cost option for the software, it also reduces the need for infrastructure to support it. Costly hardware and back-up solutions are not required, as they are now provided as part of the software as a service offering. The scale of the infrastructure offered by the service providers generally far exceeds an in-house operation, so it will also increase business accounting security and availability, while reducing your capital outlay.
Reduced Total Cost
Not only does your online construction system reduce your capital expenditure, it actually reduces the overall cost. Cloud construction solutions can enter the market on a freemium model (base levels of the software are offered free, with the choice to upgrade for more advanced features), or a cost per role/licence model, and can be upscaled based on users and requirements as necessary. There is now no need to invest in an all-encompassing system of which you will use a minor percentage of the functions.
A cloud-based system scales to fit your company. Entrepreneurs and SMEs can opt for a very cheap but limited system, yet this can grow to add users and functionalities, as per the requirements of your business and team. The system will grow alongside your company and will allow the addition of functions and resources as required.
With the use of technology, manual tasks can almost be eliminated. This opens up options for a business to allow outsourcing of technical and operational functions. Many manual tasks can now be adopted by the technology, and even with a smartphone. The reduced paperwork and general efficiency allows the streamlining of business expenses and weighty salary bills.
From your project management to your financial directors, the information is available as live. The system allows you to build dashboards and reports tailored to the person using it. A C-level may want to see more of an overview, while a project manager may need more transactional level information.
Access from anywhere
Part of the success of cloud computing is the ability to access information from practically anywhere. The rise of smartphone adoption has given business officials access to key company information as long as they have a form of Wi-Fi or mobile phone internet connection.
Cloud solutions face the issue of security, and people often think that because a system is out of the office it is less secure. However, exactly the opposite is the truth. The following shows just a few of the key security enhancements that a migration to cloud-based accounting offers:
User authentication – two-step authentication for logins and transactions ensures that only with the use of two personal devices can an account be accessed.
Data encryption – industry-level encryption services ensure that information is delivered and translated to correct areas only.
Network security and data centre – economies of scale allow a much higher level of infrastructure and the security that runs within it. This can offer governmental levels of security at a fraction of the price.
Most software companies offer an uptime guarantee of >99%. Vast teams ensure that updates, patches and fixes are completed before issues occur. They are also often very responsive to system improvements and thrive on critical feedback. Systems can literally change and improve in front of your eyes.
Data Back-up and Restoration
One of the largest investments in accounting is data back-up. If you do not have off-site software back-up, you run the risk of losing your data. It is said that 60% of companies that suffer data loss shut down within six months. With cloud-based construction software, servers are based in environmentally perfect surroundings and replicated in similar environments, often in other countries. Only extreme circumstances disrupt these types of systems, and at this point we probably wouldn’t be worried about our project.
Despite the numerous benefits of applying cloud computing to your business, there may be limitations. The main challenge with cloud computing is that you need access to the internet. With today’s world being always connected, this seems like it wouldn’t affect a business; however, outages can disrupt the ability to work effectively. Also, with some of the file types in construction being so large, upload and download speeds are vital to efficient production.
There are many benefits to the adoption of cloud-based construction, but it is important to consult a reliable construction software company with your exact requirements. They will be able to guide you towards the best solution or mixture of solutions for your business. It is also vital that you choose the right team to help you set up or migrate the services. Speak to one of our team to understand the benefits to you and your business.
Rob Matheson is general manager at CCS (Construction Computer Software) Gulf.