What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing delivers computing services, including servers, storage, databases, software, networking and analytics, over the internet (‘the cloud’).
Cloud computing services are typically provided by third-party providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.
There are different types of cloud computing models which are:
- public clouds are available to anyone on the internet
- private clouds are used exclusively by a single organisation
- hybrid clouds that combine public and private cloud services.
So essentially, you can access everything from your computer, tablet, or phone—and because it’s all stored on the cloud (that is, on the internet), you can access your files from anywhere.
Benefits of cloud computing
There are several reasons construction companies are adopting cloud computing.
Cloud computing enables construction teams to collaborate more effectively by enabling team members to access and share files and data in real time from anywhere with an internet connection. This can help reduce errors, improve communication and enhance teamwork.
Viewing job sites from anywhere
Using aerial photos or drone footage, cloud computing lets stakeholders view job sites from anywhere. This can help them better understand the project’s progress, identify potential issues and make informed decisions.
Using cloud computing, construction companies can reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating the need for physical storage space and reducing paper usage. This can help them achieve their sustainability goals.
Enhanced security and data protection
Cloud service providers implement advanced security measures and best practices to ensure the safety of data stored in the cloud. This includes encryption, multi-factor authentication and disaster recovery solutions. This way, companies avoid costly data breaches and other security issues, which can reduce the risk of financial loss and reputational damage.
It provides easy access to safety protocols.
Cloud computing makes it easy to store fire safety plans, OSHA regulations and other important information in a central location so that everyone can access it at all times. This is incredibly important in construction, where lives are on the line.
Cloud computing allows construction companies to access their data and applications from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier to work remotely and helping construction companies with geographically dispersed teams or those needing to work on-site at different locations.
Cloud computing technologies
With these factors in mind, let’s answer which technologies are worth investing in – to reduce costs, improve efficiency, collaboration and return on investment for developers and architects.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
BIM is a digital model-based approach to construction project management that facilitates collaboration among architects, engineers, contractors and others.
BIM utilises advanced analytical tools to inform the physical elements of a building. In contrast to a CAD design, which merely depicts the arrangement of a room, BIM can identify more specific things like wall structure and optimal routing of electrical conduits.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT involves connecting physical devices and sensors to the internet, enabling the collection and sharing of data in real time. This data is then transmitted to a central dashboard, where it’s analysed to make informed decisions.
In construction, IoT can be used to monitor equipment, track materials, and check the performance on the construction site. IoT devices can provide valuable insights that help improve safety and productivity.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR technology is increasingly used in construction to visualise designs and simulate construction processes. VR allows project teams to experience a project in a virtual environment, identifying potential issues and making improvements before construction begins.
Companies can also use VR to train workers and improve safety.
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