6 Minute Read
6 Construction Voices on Moving to the Cloud
“The cloud” used to be a term that sent folks running for the doors. The idea of putting personal or business information in a central, accessible repository in the ether seemed like an unreasonable risk only 10 years ago. But as advances in cloud computing technologies and the security measures surrounding them have shown, the benefits far outweigh any remaining fears.
The cloud is prevalent in nearly every aspect of our daily lives (streaming services like Netflix or Hulu; social media like Facebook or Twitter; online banking or bill-paying portals; music and file-sharing services, etc.). 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 is at. In construction, contractors are also realizing the potential of web-based software to streamline and simplify processes across their entire operations — from the back office, to the field and beyond.
Today’s leading cloud-based, construction-specific software platforms feature automated workflows that take advantage of real-time data and collaborative sharing tools that cloud computing can provide. Among the benefits, these platforms provide: expanding collaboration across the entire project team; automating tasks and processes to replace multiple steps or duplicate data entry; intuitive dashboards and alerts to ensure action items are addressed and project data is always current; and powerful business intelligence tools that utilize automation and workflows to provide accurate, real-time analysis of current projects and intelligent forecasting of future ones.
Even with the obvious business benefits of moving to the cloud, many contractors are still hesitant to modernize their operations, citing everything from perceived costs to business disruptions to lingering concerns over the security of their data.
Perspectives from Cloud-Based Contractors
Viewpoint has not only been an early adopter, but a leading driver of cloud technologies for its clients, helping them achieve increased productivity and profitability, while helping them open doors to untapped business potential and new growth opportunities. Here’s what a few of those clients that have moved to the cloud are saying (click on the company names to read full case studies):
“Hands down, the cloud is the only way to go nowadays. There’s a stigma in the construction industry to not have your financials in the cloud. But if banks can handle the security to do it, I think we can too. The benefits are endless. We have immediate data access as things happen in the field. A project manager can have his coffee in the morning and check the exact status of where his job is — from labor hours to material costs to subcontract costs and more. Before, we were literally looking a month to three months back in time to find out why something happened and what could we do about it after the fact. Now, instead of the rear-view, we’re looking ahead and projecting ahead of the curve within our system.”
—Steven Drouin, director of IT services, Interstate Electrical Services Corp.
“We were starting to have a bit if of a storage crisis to where we were going to have to purchase more storage space here at our headquarters and at our disaster recovery site, just to keep up. [Moving to the cloud] basically eliminated our need to purchase more storage. We’ve reduced our storage footprint by about 30 percent at our disaster recovery site. So, we definitely were able to kick that capital purchase down the road.”
—Dennis Heinle, director of IT, Guarantee Electrical
“Time is money — for me not to have to worry about constant maintenance of the servers and software updates internally, it’s much less time and less stress for me. It’s basically buying out my stress. And, if something goes wrong, we’re protected (due to automatic backup capabilities of the cloud). I know we can get back up and running quickly.”
—Junior Atkinson, vice president, Atkinson & Associates
“What I have now that [other contractors] don’t is time. With these technology changes, I can move quicker than they can, and there are going be some bigger changes in construction technology soon, so, if they’re not already in the cloud, they’re already behind. Viewpoint cloud is so easy and so well managed that moving to the cloud is such an easy step. To me, the only option is Viewpoint cloud. They will grow with me, so I don’t need to look anywhere else.”
—Gene Krejci, CFO, Beyer Group Ltd.
“The ability to, in real time, have the integration between the trade partners, the general contractor, the architects and the owners has been a huge improvement for us. There’s been a lot better flow of information … more timely information. Real-time information has been a huge game-changer for us. It’s brought a much higher level of awareness to all aspects of our business.”
—Kathy Sulik, commercial project manager, Sachse Construction
“We immediately went with cloud hosting with Spectrum. We wanted to be web-based in order to allow our people in the field to have access at all times. Spectrum helped us open up the collaboration between our office and the field and get rid of our silos. We were literally working a system with nine silos before — nine different libraries with distinct information in our old system.”
—Colleen Ward, business analyst, Hatzel & Buehler
As more and more contractors modernize their operations and embrace cloud-based construction management platforms, those that delay could soon find it harder to compete. Project owners from private corporations to government entities are demanding the construction firms they contract with can meet modern demands for real-time data and productivity. The cost of doing nothing is now higher than making the move to the cloud in most cases.
Read our 10 Benefits You’re Missing Out on If You’re Not Operating in the Cloud or connect with Viewpoint today to see first-hand how we could help your organization scale for today, tomorrow and beyond.