A Discussion about Cloud Computing

A Discussion about Cloud Computing

The AGC recently assembled a panel of industry leaders to discuss the opportunities and challenges inherent to cloud technology.  The panel included Howie Piersma (Pepper Construction), Nige Wingate (Mortenson Construction), Raynald Morris (WM Jordan Construction) and Steven Mulka (SIS Software, Inc.).  In a lightning-round formatted update, Burnham Works unpacks the highlights of this discussion.

Cloud Best Practices

  • Always meticulously review contracts and service level agreements from your cloud providers
  • Properly vet your cloud providers to ensure you are bound to a reputable partner
  • Learn how to best control and manage data stored in the cloud
  • Understand cloud accessibility and who can access your information
  • Have a knowledge of who “owns” cloud data
  • Never assume cloud data is backed-up.  Be diligent in implementing safeguard measures
  • Acquire written documentation on how the cloud infrastructure gets upgraded over the life of the contract, and how it may impact you
  • Have an exit strategy for when you may want to migrate to another system

Cloud Cycles:  if you're concerned about your company's reception to cloud technology, consider the "cloud cycle".  In the cloud cycle, it is normal for companies to experience:

  1. An initial spike of hype and expectation
  2. Followed by a graphical trough of unmet expectation
  3. Climbing and stabilizing at a mid-range level of acceptance

The Challenges and Opportunities with Cloud Collaboration

  • The main challenge within the industry is keeping the field out in the field and producing.  Without cloud technology, the field is limited by distance, outdated information and effective support.
  • The potential with cloud-based collaboration is almost incalculable.  With products in the market such as Sharepoint, AutoDesk, and Bluebeam, cloud computing benefits are only now beginning to be realized.  At the field level, cloud-based collaboration presents all project information to field teams in real-time, empowering the site to resolve issues, strategize workflows, minimize review times, track punchlists, anticipate project needs and deliver quality projects in a safe and timely manner.  And it's these efficiencies that translate into the growth of your bottom line.
  • As a company, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of adopting a cloud initiative to your corporate structure.  Consider:
    • Short term and long term costs
    • The setup required to convert to a cloud-based system
    • Some of the risks, such as security, data backup and access exposures
    • The impacts to your hardware and software administration
    • That due to the newness of cloud technology, there is a limited ability to integrate with other systems



Members Only:  To further understand how this technology can help you achieve your goals, please contact Burnham Works' in-house research team at info@burnhamworks.com


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