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UHY CAAS, was featured on a technology blog, discussing what they call “the biggest trend in the construction industry”. They offered expertise on the digitalization of the construction industry, why it’s important for construction companies to adapt to the digital world, what cloud solutions offer, and provided tips for construction companies migrating to the cloud.

1. Although construction is typically the last industry to digitize, the growing trend of construction companies moving to the cloud is up over 85% since 2012. With the growth potential on the horizon in cloud computing, why are construction companies moving to the cloud? Until the last few years, the options for digitizing construction companies complex workflows and challenging environments were not readily available. In the past few years, developers have created SaaS (Software as a Solution) solutions that automate everything from jobsite safety, to financial transformations.

2. What is cloud computing any ways and what does it mean for construction companies? Before the internet was insanely fast as it is today, processing had to happen locally and information was stored locally on a local server or workstation, or even better on paper with pens. Once broadband internet came into the picture, things drastically changed. With the internet being as fast as it is, these days, think of cloud computing as using a more powerful machine to do the processing of information, rather than local servers and workstations. Company's are able to accomplish more with less resources and as long as there is an internet connection, there is access to the Company's information. It's important for construction companies to migrate to the cloud, so they can connect to their remote jobsites, share information among all those that need it, and the most important piece, is to allow for advanced analytics. If everyone (including field personnel) is using the same software, imagine the analytics that come from tracking information like manhours, change orders, or jobsite incidents.

3. Where is the cloud anyway? The name says it; in the clouds. That means virtual servers, most likely hosted in remote and secure places unknown to commoners. With the right security credentials users would have access to the Company's own virtual server. There are many advantages to hosting servers in the cloud, and as mentioned before, it is easily accessible by those who have the security rights to the virtual servers. Just as with anything, there are some downfalls as well. For example, what if the internet goes down? Or worse yet, what if the virtual server provider's servers go down. Now to calm any fears, that does not happen very often, and there is probably more of a chance of a Company's own internal server going down before a virtual server built by a reputable provider going down.

4. When is it right for a construction company to switch to the cloud? In the current COVID Climate, it's now more important than it's ever been before, to make sure everyone who needs to access information to work effectively and efficiently, via the cloud. Construction is seeing a very large boom right now, from the COVID Climate, meaning all the walls that homeowners took down inside of their homes, over the past decade, to create the open floor plan concept, are being put back up because homeowners soon realized that they couldn't work at the kitchen table full time. Also, most office spaces are having to be retrofit to accommodate the pandemic we are in. The when is of course up to the individual companies, but looking at the current pandemic situation, now is the time to have all of your information accessible by those working remotely.

5. How are construction companies supposed to make the migration to the cloud? The biggest decision a company of any industry can make is moving to the cloud. There are many options for moving to the cloud, and that means there is a lot of discovery to be had to determine if it's one ERP system that can tackle all the needs, or is it an ERP system with many related partners to be the best fit for the construction company. No matter the choice, it has to be the best solution for the individual company.

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