There’s a new kind of cloud casting it’s shadow over the construction industry. It’s not a cumulus or a cirrus. In fact, this cloud is so ubiquitous that like Prince and Cher it goes by only one name: it’s known simply as the Cloud.
The Cloud is essentially a network of servers that hold information. In other words, it’s a large bucket that companies and individuals pour data into, data that can then, theoretically, be retrieved at any time from anywhere. The Cloud can seem like a confusing concept. But for people in the construction industry how the Cloud works is not important. What really matters is how the Cloud can be used to make life on the jobsite more efficient.
The Cloud is all bout data, storing and retrieving it. Examples of cloud-based software built for the construction industry are PlanGrid and ProCore, both of which are apps that allow construction workers to send and receive information (what kind of information) easily and help contractors keep track of their costs, subcontractors and estimates. The Cloud makes it easy for contractors to access plans for a jobsite from any location, track materials in real time, and easily share project information with multiple team members. There are also several cloud-based accounting options such as Sage that help keep track of the accounts payable and receivable so you could run your whole business from a mobile office(aka a pickup truck).
Some may assume that construction firms may be slow to adopt new technology, but in a 2016 report, the Associated General Contractors of America reported that 59% of construction firms use or are planning to use cloud-based software. The industry is trending towards cloud-based software, and it may not be long before Cloud based software is the most valuable tool in toolbox.