Last week, I discussed how the Internet is becoming a utility via common applications. This is all well and good, but I know from the emails I received, I left some of you thinking, how does this affect me? Well, there are three very important reasons to care, but I'll get to those in a minute.
Remote Business Construction Software
Until recently, most business software was delivered on discs in packaged boxes, or downloaded onto company servers and workstations. Now, as the Internet becomes more and more of a utility, access to software only requires an Internet connected device and a subscription login.
In an effort to make access easier for their employees, some companies are moving all or most of their software and computing resources to an outsourced hosting service. While there are advantages to this type of so-called virtualization model, it is not a true browser-based or cloud solution.
3 Reasons to Move to the Cloud
- Access: Browser-based software provides anywhere, anytime, any-device access to business applications. Unlike virtualized environments, browser-based software typically only requires that the device—computer, tablet, smart phone, etc.—have the ability to launch a browser. With this technology, management can access up-to-date business information anytime, anyplace and field staff can stay better connected to the office and to each other.
- Usability: I think most Internet users expect anything in a browser to run quickly and easily. This means that the user interfaces of browser-based applications must be designed for ease-of-use, and information must be presented in an easy-to-understand format. Vendors moving their software to the Internet are redesigning the way the software is used, creating smarter, easier to use products.
- Affordability: Browser-based software should not only make users jump for joy, but management should be pleased with the lower costs of ownership. Companies generally have the option of purchasing the software or purchasing on a subscription basis. Regardless, the user enjoys a significant reduction in hardware and IT infrastructure costs. Browser-based software is "zero-footprint," meaning that no server and no special user hardware are required. From an IT perspective, there is no software to install, update, and maintain.
The growing wave of business software over the Internet holds particular promise for the business of construction contracting. Unlike many other industries, construction occurs in remote and varied locations, every project is unique, and nearly every new project involves a new collection of project partners and vendors. In addition, project information is constantly changing, it must be shared with many individuals in many locations, and there is always a lot of it. The benefits of browser-based software help share this information by keeping everyone connected.