Cloud-based technology has consistently grown in popularity over the last several years, and for good reason. By leveraging a cloud-based platform, users can store, process, visualize, and engage with digital data, without the expense and burden of maintaining servers, databases, processing power, and more.
According to AGC’s 2021 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report, nearly 70% of contractors use cloud-based mobile software for daily reporting—a considerable increase from just a few years ago. Managing digital data in the cloud is not just convenient, it’s secure, cost-effective, and improves collaboration.
A recent JLL report shows a massive boost in digital collaboration post-COVID, thanks largely to cloud-based software. “The benefits are proven, which is why adoption of digital collaboration tools is high, and why the tools are now considered to be a foundational technology.”
Why has cloud-based technology for digital data management become “foundational” for construction firms—and is it right for yours?
Cloud-based digital data management is cost-effective
Remember the days when you had to purchase separate (and expensive) software licenses, then install them on individual machines? If you needed to analyze survey data with CAD (computer-aided design) software, you’d need the right personnel and equipment onsite to do the job.
Cloud-based software changes all of that.
Because there’s nothing to download, software can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection (or even offline, depending on the software). Licenses are typically available at a fraction of the cost; and certain levels of access may even be free.
Also, using the cloud eliminates the need for cost-prohibitive server and computer upgrades. With added flexibility that cloud-based solutions offer, contractors can easily scale their data management needs with their business.
Digital data is easy to use in the cloud
Cloud-based technology is highly mobile. Often, there’s nothing to download to your machine (or mobile device) at all—any team member with access can simply log in using a web browser.
Some traditional desktop-based software requires expensive licenses that are limited to a small number of machines. If those machines—or the people trained to use them—aren’t on site, neither is your ability to make effective use of your data.
Cloud-based construction software can be accessed anywhere, from any device, by any user with the right permission.
Propeller’s cloud-based earthworks solution is a great example. We specifically built it to be easy to use and accessed by everyone on the team, regardless of technical aptitude—meaning everyone can make better-informed decisions, faster.
Whether you’re looking to increase efficiency without sacrificing accuracy or just keep on top of what’s happening onsite, ease of use is key to granting widespread access that benefits the whole team, not just a select few.
Cloud-based access to accurate digital data improves collaboration
Easier and more cost-effective access to a centralized hub for digital data means that all stakeholders involved in a project can not only view, but also collaborate on the same information. Not only does this eliminate the risk of misinformed decisions from siloed or inaccurate data, it improves team alignment and communication overall.
The challenge with traditional, desktop-based software is that often only one user can update the information at a time, which could lead to version control issues–particularly if the user accidentally saves their update locally to their machine. With cloud-based software solutions, like the Propeller Platform, everyone has access to the same information, in real time.
Additionally, Propeller’s add-on module, Crew, provides a mobile, cloud-based communication channel between the office and the field (and back). Not only can multiple team members in the office access (and update) the same data at the same time, but field crew can see those updates—and respond accordingly—in real time, preventing costly rework.
With everyone’s eyes on the same data at the same time, disputes occur less frequently. And when they do arise, they’re easier to resolve thanks to easy-to-read evidence of every step.
Is cloud-based digital data management and collaboration right for your business?
The construction industry has made tremendous strides over the past five years, but digital is still a differentiator.
If contractors want to stay competitive in a modernizing industry, they’ll need to leverage technology. Cloud-based solutions, like Propeller, help attract (and retain) talent in a strained job market, increase efficiency, and improve collaboration—all while keeping projects profitable.