We are in a new age of computing, and while some industries have been proactive with cloud computing, the construction industry still needs to float on up.
Cloud computing has nothing to do with actual clouds and has everything to do with the internet. Cloud is another name for internet and when you store information in the cloud, you are storing it on the internet.
To be clear, cloud computing and servers have a lot in common. After all, they both use/are servers. Cloud computing uses swarms of servers that are placed around the world in different locations and that all interact with each other. When you use your own server you can either have a localised server or a remote server – and they can still interact with the internet.
However, there are some major benefits to using the cloud that far surpass the benefits of using a server. There are also programs that run on the cloud, like Rave Build a cloud-based build management system, that make all aspects of building easily. These types of systems are labelled SaaS ( Software as a Service). Depending on what you are using your server for you may want to look into the pros’ and cons of using cloud-based systems compared to using your server.
Cloud computing can offer you:
Cost efficiency; Using a localised server means that you need to manage it. Managing your own server comes at a cost, the cost of the server itself and the cost of its upkeep, whether it’s through hiring an actual IT guy to keep it maintained or calling someone out to fix it through another company. However, it’s not just the cost of maintenance with the server, but the loss of revenue when the server breaks or malfunctions. With cloud computing, you are still using a server, however, instead of one server, there are thousands. There are servers all around the world in different locations meaning that not only do you not have to pay for maintenance on them but, if for some reason there is a malfunction there are swarms of other servers that can pick up the slack until the others get fixed.
Scalability; When you are controlling your own server, you need to be able to predict the amount of traffic you will be getting. Will there be more traffic in certain parts of the year? Will there be times that there is very little traffic? When you have to make predictions like this, you either end up with more space than you need or not enough during times of heavy traffic. It’s an expensive gamble. However with cloud computing, the scalability is easy, you can upscale in times of heavy traffic and downscale again when there is less traffic. You only pay for what you need rather than trying to predict your needs and overshooting, or even worse falling short.
Security; There is a perception, where if you have a server that the information that you place on that server is safer. This is not the case, in actual fact, most of the major security breaches in the last five years have been from internal databases. There are many aspects to computing and security and there will always be risks, wherever you store your information. Most cloud providers implement their own security measures that mitigate security risks. However there is a large amount of responsibility the customer to protect their own information, you can encrypt your data, ensure your security key is safe, implement a dual authentication system and limit the permission and audit people’s use of the systems.
Disaster recovery capabilities; Sometimes things break, servers malfunction or there could even be a disaster along the lines of a fire, earthquake, flood, or even a volcanic eruption. It’s good to be prepared and to be fair, most people and businesses are. Backups are essential, and everybody backs up their information. However backing up your information online is invaluable. Using the cloud to backup your information means that your information is easily accessible in the event that you don’t have your physical backups or they break or malfunction.
Profitability; Time and money go hand in hand, the reality is that using the cloud can cut out a lot of time wasting. Especially if you are using a SaaS, like Rave Build. Specifically, in the building industry, some companies are still using fragmented software that can’t communicate with each other. Resulting in a lot of repetitive work, and accumulating a lot of downtime. For example, because Rave operates on the cloud it is a centralised system where all of the different functions interact with each other, so there is no double ups or unnecessary work. Rave also incorporates a communications system, meaning that everything that is happening within your project is easily communicated to other people involved in a hassle free way. All these things together mean that saving time is a byproduct and a result in that is not only saving money but also having the opportunity to increase profit margins.
To summarise, cloud computing is more affordable, easy to upscale or downscale, has better security, amazing disaster recovery capabilities, and encourages more profitability.
So why is the building industry still struggling with the concept of using the cloud? After all, it provides everything that a server offers, however, better, faster, and cheaper.
Studies show that 42% of companies (in 2014) who haven’t jumped on the cloud yet, haven’t done so because they simply don’t know enough.
While having a tangible object, such as a server can be comforting, cloud computing is definitely the smarter and more efficient way of getting the most out of your business.
In the battle of the cloud Vs server, cloud wins, hands down.