by J.B. Peters
Associate Project Manager
According to Computer World magazine, cloud-computing projects are the single most important technology initiatives right now. This is further confirmed by looking at the recent financial performance of the leading cloud computing service providers such as Amazon Web Services, which reported a 78% increase in revenue year over year. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is currently the fast growing segment within the cloud computing sector. Cisco is predicting that, by 2018, 59% of the total cloud workloads will be SaaS.
How is this significant to construction program/project management? When an organization is looking to improve its process of creating, collecting, tracking, and searching for documents such as inspector’s daily reports, change orders, payments etc., there are often two directions the organization can take – an installed solution or SaaS. Today, the trend leans strongly towards SaaS. Let’s look at why.
1. Lower initial cost and commitment
With SaaS, there is no investment in specific hardware or software to run the service. SaaS greatly reduces costs by supporting a ‘multi-tenant architecture,’ allowing multiple customers to exist on the same application instance in a secure way. This means that your organization can save the overhead costs associated with owning and maintaining new software and hardware required for in-house solutions, while enjoying the latest technology for a much smaller recurring fee.
2. Less time spent on implementation
Using a SaaS means that the installation and configuration has already been taken care of. This cuts down the time required to implement the solution, from months using an in-house solution, to days with SaaS. A quick implementation means your organization can prevent additional workload on already overloaded IT departments, and keep personnel in the field and focused on their projects.
3. The vendor handles support, upgrades, security, backups and uptime
Chances are, if you’re in the construction industry, your organization does not want to take on the challenges of juggling the tasks of ensuring the security, availability, backup, installations, and support of users an in-house system. By choosing SaaS, all of these tasks are the responsibility of the vendor selected to provide the service. We call this ‘apps not opps,’ meaning your team can focus on getting the benefits of the service rather than running the service.
4. Easily access information anywhere
Construction industry users often need access to project information while in the field. With SaaS, a user can access the service over the Internet through a web browser. There is no fussing with VPN or FTP when you’re not in the office. Little or no training is required since accessing a website with a username and password is commonplace today. In most cases, SaaS is mobile accessible, meaning that users can access their projects and enter information using their mobile devices anytime, anywhere.
In summary, SaaS will provide lower cost of ownership, keep personnel in the field and provide simple and easy access to project information anytime and anywhere. If you are debating whether to select installed software or SaaS for your construction management needs, know that the advantages of SaaS are clear and proven. Info Tech has been providing software and services for infrastructure for more than 30 years. We understand that your job is not to run or manage software, but rather to select a vendor you can trust to handle it for you. Learn more about Info Tech’s SaaS offerings on our products page.