There are specific advantages to using Microsoft Teams to coordinate construction teams. When used strategically, Microsoft Office can improve construction productivity. And with the help of an IT partner, moving operations to the Microsoft Azure cloud is simple.
What Matters Most in Construction Project Management
Team collaboration matters in the construction sector. The design team members, professional trades, investment stakeholders, and project managers need to have clear communication. Construction is more than building; it requires being in contact with the project members to communicate the progress of each task to everyone on time.
The application of cloud computing in construction is still an emerging area, which promises a number of opportunities to improve team collaboration.
Is it Difficult to Move to Your Team to Microsoft 365?
In previous years it was hard for on-site teams to have real-time information where they were working. There were often challenges sending large files back and forth through emails and things got delayed. However, now with the help of an IT partner, it is easy to get the benefit of Microsoft 365 to include as one of your most reliable construction tools.
It is estimated that the construction industry is about 90% small and medium business [source] and many companies previously could not afford to invest heavily in the on-premise digital infrastructure required for the new online team collaboration tools. This may be why the construction industry remains one of the least digitized industries. Yet today there are strong benefits to moving construction project management over to Microsoft Office 365 and it is more affordable than ever.
How Microsoft Teams Assists Construction with Project Management
There are clear benefits to using Microsoft Teams tools in the different stages of construction. It provides for computational power for data analysis. It allows construction plans to be accessible to all team members instantly. Perhaps the most practical reason to switch to Microsoft 365 is that it is an affordable system that can easily be scaled up or down based on the size of the team needed for each construction project. It provides long-term, secure space for the storage of vital documents.
More than ever before, the cost is a significant consideration in the adoption of IT solutions by construction companies. Construction companies seeking new ways to reduce infrastructure and operational costs may find value in Microsoft office for their employees in the office and on-site. There is no need to purchase complex IT infrastructure, which requires expert human resources and training to manage. Our team at Keeran Network has experience in transitioning remote teams to successfully using Microsoft cloud teamwork tools.
During the building process, it is not helpful to have scattered data that is not readily available for a timely and critical decision-making process by the people on the ground. Poor communication of building updates has resulted in poor planning, delay in project delivery, inflation in project cost, and reduced profit on the job.
Microsoft office 365 provides a central repository for construction data for-end-to-end solution that improves the productivity and organization of construction day-to-day operation. Remote access to up-to-date project data allows the construction team greater input and keeps the project team organized and well-integrated.
As it stands currently, too much sensitive data from different stages of the construction project are usually kept in private silos like a VPN server, individual desktop, laptops, smartphones, etc. Microsoft 365 data integration is good for the overall project coordination because the inability to access a holistic view of data often leads to wrong decisions that could delay the project and also impact on performance and profitability of the project. [Source].
Having an IT partner makes the switch to Microsoft Teams simple and quick.
There is tremendous potential for cloud computing in the construction industry, however, cloud applications are not that widespread. Even though cloud computing technology provides affordable and scalable computing facilities using a pay-as-you-go pricing model.
Applications of Cloud Computing used in the Construction Industry
To offer some context for what a cloud environment would look like, consider the way hardware and software resources are managed and utilized currently. Your company may own its own hardware and be responsible for the operation, maintenance, and upgrades to that data management system.
The emergence of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) which underpins cloud computing technologies, allows organizations to share the physical and non-physical aspects of an Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. The idea is to make computing infrastructure to be re-usable and thus distributing the computing costs. These capabilities significantly reduce the initial investment costs and reduce the operational costs of computing infrastructure. [Source].
How Cloud Characteristics Help Construction Teams
There are five essential characteristics of cloud computing are these qualities are beneficial in construction project management.
- The global nature of cloud computing indicates broad network access as cloud services are accessible regardless of time and location. Cloud service is accessible using any device over the internet, this is because the underlying computing infrastructure is on multiple locations.
- The shared pool feature implies a multi-tenancy infrastructure that can accommodate many users and applications. This allows many users to share the same computing infrastructure with individual privacy and security guaranteed.
- The elasticity attribute allows users to increase or decrease the request for computing resources on demand. For example, if a business suddenly needs additional storage space or users, cloud infrastructure can easily scale up to accommodate the new demand.
- The on-demand self-service facet means that computer resources are made accessible for use within minutes. Cloud users can use the web service portal to manage their services without intervention from the cloud provider. This can also be managed by an IT partner.
- The pay-as-you-go billing model enables users to pay only for consumed cloud services.
Cloud Storage Solutions in the Construction Industry
Previously, storing construction data on site has been a problem as a result of the amount of required hardware for such on-site storage.
Most importantly, storing data on the site requires physical access to the plans. Yet with cloud storage, data can be remotely stored and retrieved without the physical limitation of taking of space and without consuming additional time to access.
Service provisioning in the cloud is governed by Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which is a contract specifying commitment to deliver cloud services by a provider to a cloud user. This includes a 99.99% SLA (Service Level Agreement) and uptime provided by cloud service providers.
Data Security Concerns in the Construction Industry
Increasingly there are reports that cybercriminals may aim for digital assets transferred or stored insecurely. The increased amount of personal end-point devices means the risk of exposing sensitive information is extremely high. Tools like Microsoft Endpoint Manager can mitigate this risk.
Some experts are predicting that the construction industry could be the next target of focus for cybercriminals. “Over half of all construction executives believe their firms will be hit in the future, yet worryingly, 68% of firms have no security measures in place.”
It is reassuring to note that the level of data security found in the Microsoft cloud is more advanced than what an individual business could afford to put in place by themselves. Increasing security threats to on-premise construction data have necessitated the use of off-site cloud storage for safekeeping the construction data.
Cloud-based tools eliminate the concern of keeping records on-site and having important files lost in email threads. The benefits of using Microsoft office 365 and the Microsoft Azure cloud environment are that it is an affordable, scalable, and secure solution. And with the help of an experienced IT partner like Keeran Networks, it’s simple. Get in touch with us here.