Nowadays, it may seem as though everything lives in ‘the cloud’. From quirky cat videos and business documents to unlimited music and movies; cloud-based services and software provide instant access to any type of data we can imagine. And, while it is somewhat of an esoteric concept, ‘the cloud’ is making an undeniable impact on industries around the globe. With the construction and engineering sectors being no exception.
Rapidly becoming the dominant way to perform estimations for the built environment, cloud-based estimating software represents the future of the construction industry. For this reason, it’s important to understand what ‘the cloud’ is, how it functions and why its benefits are superior when compared with traditional estimating solutions.
What is “the cloud”?
Coined by computer scientists in the early 90s, the term ‘cloud’ was used to refer to a network of computers and storage devices that existed off-site. Today, this word has evolved to represent the internet as we know it. Essentially, a much larger network of globally connected PCs, servers and devices.
How does “the cloud” work?
Using remote servers located around the world, ‘the cloud’ allows individuals and organisations to store, manage and process their data without the need for any local or on-site hardware. As long as they have access to the internet, they can access their data from anywhere at any time. As a result, cloud-based computing provides a range of incredible benefits to those who embrace it. These include:
- Cost efficiency
By hosting data in off-site servers, the need for powerful on-site hardware, technical support and upgrades are eliminated.
Regardless of size, cloud-based computing is flexible enough to satisfy the needs of any organisation whether big or smal
With data accessible from anywhere, individuals are free to work wherever and whenever they want.
- Data Security
Featuring built-in redundancy, data is securely backed up across multiple off-site servers.
What does this mean for estimation in the built environment?
By implementing a cloud-based approach to construction estimation, organisations within the industry will not only enjoy the benefits listed above but also greater collaboration among teams, increased efficiency when executing projects, and complete peace of mind knowing their solution is future-proofed with tech that’s always at the cutting edge.
For example, using cloud-based estimation software, a team of quantity surveyors located across the world can now work together in real time to perform a take-off using a single bill of quantities that adheres to a standardised estimating procedure. This leads to increased productivity, a reduction in errors and the ability to deliver on time—faster.
It truly is a revolutionary way to estimate and while resistance to the adoption of new technology is notorious within the built environment, if companies want to remain competitive, they must harness the power of ‘the cloud’ or risk being left behind.