The need for cloud based file storage in the construction industry

April 25, 2017

It’s now fair to say that almost all companies rely on documents as a fundamental part of their business processes. Workers generate documents every day which are passed on to their colleagues for consultation and editing. These are then sent to higher levels of the business and tweaked; perhaps they are sent to a client for sign-off, or if part of a transaction they are signed, ticked and returned.

In the construction industry, cloud based file storage provides an especially compelling method of generating and sharing documents. With files stored in the cloud, employees can access the latest construction documents from the building site. This means any updates to plans can be immediately accessed by the foreman, giving total visibility over what’s going on across the organisation.

Building firms need cloud based file storage

The construction industry comprises of many moving parts and people. Work takes place in offices, on site, or on the move. It includes Project Portfolio Management (PPM), budget forecasting, data analysis, resource management, excavation permits, planning permissions, and much more. One of the most important aspects, then, is the ability for these moving parts to communicate effectively and work together with each other most efficiently.

Most building, engineering or architecture firms today have moved on to using electronic document systems where they keep ‘soft’ copies of their documents which can be found readily without much time spent searching. But just because they have gone digital doesn’t mean their documents are easily or readily accessible. And this is why cloud based file storage can bring you major business benefits.

cloud based file storage

Why is good sync and share important?

In an industry where we might define success as sticking to time and budget goals—where time literally is money and where large projects rely on a great multitude of documents, information and other content and data—having a system in place that gives you secure access to the right documents is essential. Add on to that the multiple teams who need specific information in multiple locations, and you can begin to see why the right document management is an important factor in running a successful project. Document management technology can enable your employees with the following:

Anytime, anywhere access

When we talk about ‘moving parts’ we sometimes mean quite literally! A lot of your key stakeholders are constantly moving from office to on-site, meaning access to their important documents no matter where they are saves a lot of time and frustration. It also means that an engineer can turn up on site, see what’s missing or needing to be fixed, and simply fill in a report from a template that is automatically synced to the office, where a colleague can order a work ticket for repair or order a new part immediately.

Collaborative editing

When something like a planning permission proposal needs to be created it must go through several hoops; through your in-house team and for sign off from upper management. A document management system can provide you with real-time editing and easy communication to get through this process of draft, edit, repeat, more quickly.

User interface and powerful search

There’s nothing worse than scanning for your documents when you’re on a deadline, only to come up short. An intuitive and is easy-to-navigate user interface makes getting to the files you need that much easier, through intuitive metadata and powerful search capabilities.

Security

One of the concerns surrounding document management whether online, on a hard drive or in a filing cabinet is its safety. Your collaboration efforts may contain sensitive data – poor data management can result in failure of compliance which can turn into cautions and fines, both delaying your project’s progress and costing you money. Document management systems are able to encrypt documents at the file level to keep data transmissions secure. Give IT administrators control over user access so only those who should have access to certain files actually do. And when you need to collaborate with third parties your data will only be accessed by those you expressly allow.

OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s solution for the storing, syncing and sharing of files, documents and other important business content. And if you’re looking for a solution that can do all the above, it will perform suitably (as long as you can avoid the sync issues). But, when did you ever settle for something suitable in today’s enterprise, when there’s so much else out there?

Let’s talk more

At Digilink, we understand the importance of great document management. For as good as OneDrive for Business is, the are some things it can’t do which prevent it from being great. Our solution, Easier365, fills in the gaps:

  • Select only the files you want from Team Sites and Office 365 libraries with one click.
  • No file or size limits.
  • Delete files remotely with control. Your cloud files won’t get deleted when you remove the local file (yes, this happens with OneDrive for Business!)
  • Enjoy local versioning and less stressful conflict resolution.
  • Carry over your Metadata, SharePoint Views and Custom Properties so you can continue to Filter, Sort and Organise by Client, Project and Contract etc. and preserve your investment in organising your data.

Easier365 enables everyone in your organisation – whether they are builders on site, architects in the office or engineers on the road in between – to have perfect access to the information they need most.


© 2017 Digilink