How Much Cloud for Construction?

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According to the recent article at Constructech, How Much Cloud for Construction? , the cloud has created much buzz in construction these days with many in the market still looking for answers. As with any technology investment, a good rule of thumb with the cloud is to take it in small steps. When it comes to cloud computing in construction, the question isn’t so much should you take to it, but rather what is the right amount? Information technology managers in construction are struggling with the tongue-in-cheek “fully vs. partially cloudy” dilemma regarding which construction technology applications are indeed best suited for the cloud.

The debate has been generating much discussion on Constructech‘s own LinkedIn group lately, where many believe it comes down to the decision of which applications to take to the cloud, and which to leave in the standard delivery model.

“Programs that sync data in the background are a perfect fit,” says Morrow. “Data that is fetched via realtime requests may or may not present more of an issue. As a general rule, the more unique the software/data is to your specific business the more cloud resistant it might be. Start with services that every business uses. Get a comfort level, and then move to industry-specific software, (and) save any custom ‘in-house’ software for last.”

A recent survey of Constructech readers shows the applications best suited to take to the cloud include sales, scheduling, and project management. We have seen a growing interest in using the cloud for applications like project management in construction. Software providers continually embrace this model with companies like Meridian Systems, www.meridiansystems.com, Folsom, Calif., and Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore., as just two examples, developing strategic partnerships for bringing their project-based solutions to the cloud.

Then there are those times when there isn’t a natural fit in the cloud. In those instances, Wes Smith, president, The Cram Group, www.thecramgroup.com, New York, N.Y. suggests Citrix XenApp. It is the product behind what most people mean when they say an application is “Citrix-enabled,” says Smith.

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