Why Estimators Should Commit to the Cloud for Business Continuity
The ongoing coronavirus crisis left enterprises the world over scrambling to enact Business Continuity Plans and prepare their teams to start working from home.
Some however, were not so fortunate as to have this option. Weeks and months with no cashflow caused significant strain for businesses, and the far-reaching consequences of this continue to be felt.
For quantity surveying and estimating, the short-term implications have not been as dire as many other occupations. Professionals who still have ongoing work and are supported by cloud estimating software solutions have found the transition to remote workflows to be quite straightforward.
This blog post explores the changing face of our industry and the growing importance of flexible and scalable infrastructure for project delivery.
A Case for the Cloud
Enterprise confidence in cloud workflows has never been higher. We’ve spoken about the value of cloud workflows for construction estimating before, and these benefits still ring true in 2022. Real-time collaboration between project stakeholders is easier than ever, with everyone able to access the same centralised platform to source information. Quantity surveyors and estimators often need to refer to old project data to inform current work, and hosted services are a great help in this regard. There’s convenience in knowing you can access cloud estimating software wherever you have an Internet connection, rather than relying upon portable drives or transferring files between your office and home workspaces.
Diligent enterprises can secure their data to a very high standard with cloud workflows, while the services offered are often scalable to changes in your business size. This flexibility is important as we move forward in an uncertain business environment.
Responding to a Crisis
Most businesses have some manner of Business Continuity Plan in place, dependent on the nature of their enterprise. While technical outages, cyber-attacks and supply chain issues are relatively common risks that businesses can practically prepare for, the COVID-19 pandemic has been something different entirely.
There’s only so much a business can do in preparing for future operations, but the short-term imperative for our industry was shifting employees to remote working conditions. QS and estimating professions are very much deadline-driven, so many will have been well-prepared for this circumstance having worked late nights from home in the past. Despite this, there is a large volume of work involved when moving all employees offsite within a short timeframe.
Professionals might be surprised by the sheer number of programs they use daily. Cloud solutions are known to reduce IT complexity, and there is no doubt that having cloud infrastructure in place is conducive to business agility. Enterprises that have switched to working from home in recent weeks will have surely limited any productivity shortfalls by having trusted cloud estimating software already in place.
Cloud Collaboration Solutions from RIB Software
Here at RIB, we are continuing to build upon our cloud capability with every passing year. Our flagship iTWO costX® software can be deployed in the cloud via Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, by way of technologies such as Citrix Virtual Desktop and AWS AppStream 2.0.
As for native cloud storage of drawing files, supported providers include Amazon AWS S3, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Dropbox and Box. iTWO costX® also supports many options for interoperability, with iTWO costX® files able to be merged, shared, imported and exported efficiently.
An early-stage cloud estimating software option is also available from RIB. iTWO benchmark supports simple and powerful conceptual estimating and benchmarking, with users able to take advantage of their historical project information to inform future analysis. With all available data coordinated on a single web platform, users can gain important insights into how their estimates compare to similar past projects.
To learn more about the cloud solutions offered by RIB, feel free to contact your nearest office today!