Industries: Cloud computing in construction

cloud computing in construction

In each edition of this five-part series, we’ll take a brief look at a particular industry to see how the cloud brings about cost and operational efficiencies for the players involved. This first installment focuses on the construction industry.

Cloud computing is the use of external IT resources for internal IT purposes. It’s outsourcing your computing needs to third-party cloud service providers (CSPs). Thanks to economies of scale, state-of-the-art CSPs like SimplyClouds offer affordable cloud services for business.

The cloud has proven to be so beneficial to companies that its use has been spread as wide as the internet itself. In fact, cloud computing has reached construction, one of the least digitized industries of all.

Cloud computing: A new building block for construction firms?

While it might not be immediately obvious, construction companies can enjoy the advantages of shifting to the cloud.

Increased mobility

Construction workers use mobile devices to accomplish all sorts of tasks on site. They fulfill punch lists, enable real-time project management, track time, and send assessments and accomplishment reports.

The cloud also makes back-office functions more efficient. Not too long ago, workers on the job site had to return to the main office to provide project updates, submit requests for materials, and all other sorts of paperwork. With cloud-powered mobility, however, workers can submit everything to headquarters via the internet.

All in all, cloud computing enables remote work. All data are stored in cloud repositories and processed using cloud-based productivity and collaboration software. Greater access to information means better coordination, leading to faster and more profitable builds.

Improved collaboration

Taking on suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors is standard practice among builders. Meeting production schedules while remaining on budget is a huge advantage in a highly competitive industry. Your business requires collaboration tools that will help you achieve this.

Project managers can consolidate all their software tools in the cloud to avoid shifting between disparate systems. This leads to greater cohesion among team members as well as a high degree of visibility for project owners. Moreover, enhanced collaboration prevents mistakes that can cause costly reworks or construction mishaps.

But although cloud computing enables collaboration, cloud services also help project owners control access to everything from payroll information to proprietary blueprints. For example, Azure Information Protection is a rights management tool that keeps your data secure wherever it may be. On the other hand, Microsoft Intune enables mobile productivity while protecting your data.

Smarter builds

The cloud is also a gateway to other sophisticated technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. PCL, a leading Canadian construction firm, implemented the use of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors while building Stantec Tower. With these sensors, they were able to measure temperature and humidity. Armed with data, they controlled these environmental factors so that concrete was set optimally, fires were prevented, and workers were comfortable.

Data sets from several sensors on hundreds of floors are enormous. In addition, the computing resources needed to derive actionable insights from them are immense. And it is rarely economically viable for even the largest of non-IT enterprises to have them in house. To solve this dilemma, PCL opted for Microsoft Azure and used services such as Azure Digital Twins to derive deep insights. The culmination of these is Stantec Tower, a pioneer among intelligent buildings that will comprise the smart cities of the near future.

Thinking about how your construction firm can take full advantage of the cloud? Drop us a line— our experts at SimplyClouds can build you solid IT foundations as you reach for the sky.

Categories: Cloud benefits, Internet of Things, Microsoft Azure, Cloud providers, Cloud expenses

Tags: cloud computing, IoT, AI, machine learning, construction industry, cloud-powered mobility, remote work, Microsoft Azure, Azure Information Protection, Azure Digital Twins, Microsoft InTune