The Cloud Provides Mobility for Construction

September 28, 2011

Cloud services are proliferating in the construction industry because they enable on-the-go professionals who are on jobsites, in and out of the office, and working all the while, to store and access important documents from anywhere. Cloud-based solutions offer the ability to work from any Web browser or mobile device, plus can increase the level of communication among disparate team members.

For companies looking to maximize their competitive advantage in a difficult marketplace, finding the right cloud solution could be a step in the right direction. By enabling more collaborative workflows and providing realtime access to project data, construction companies can maximize efficiency and increase the bottomline.

One company that is now offering the power of the cloud in its lineup of technology solutions is Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif. Yesterday the company announced it will expand its offering by introducing Autodesk Cloud–a collection of Web-based products, services, and capabilities designed to “extend” customers’ desktops by offering mobility. 

In the announcement, the company also says Autodesk Subscription customers will now benefit from cloud-based rendering and design optimization, as well as enhanced collaboration capabilities. The solution now offers 3GB of online storage for design and engineering documents, so they can be accessed whenever and wherever needed.

When making critical decisions in the field, this sort of flexibility is crucial. Without access to the most recent project data, documents, and other information, remote workers are at a disadvantage. 

Earlier this summer, Bentley Systems, www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa., similarly extended its ProjectWise V8i and Navigator V8i solutions into the cloud. Users can now review and make markups via a mobile device, such as an iPad. 

ProjectWise is a team collaboration and work-sharing platform. Bentley’s Navigator is used by infrastructure teams to view and analyze project information. Cloud integration for both solutions allows for managed, secure access to content such as “i-models,” documents, and images. Plus, with apps for devices like the iPad, construction professionals can be more productive while on the go. 

Collaboration, information sharing, and realtime updates are all critical pieces to a successful construction jobcycle. As more and more companies are extending their product offerings to the cloud, builders and contractors have more opportunity than ever to work in the field, in the office, or anywhere in between.