SkySite Project: What to Consider When Selecting an AEC Technology Solution

by SkySite Project

Rising from the ashes of one of the worst economic downturns, the construction industry has seen a gradual uptick in business. During the economic slump, AEC players had begun to look for ways to become more efficient and productive. As part of this trend, the AEC industry has been quick to adopt the emerging cloud and mobile technologies.

There are several reasons why AEC companies are adopting these new technologies in earnest. Projects, today, have much tighter schedules than ever before. There are stiff penalties for not delivering a project on time. It also leads to expensive and time-consuming litigation.

These factors are encouraging the industry to focus on enhancing their productivity, efficiency and sustainable practices.

Cloud technology has made adoption easy, quick, simple and affordable. Cloud and mobile technologies simply provide unprecedented value!

Today, almost every AEC player irrespective of size is working on some form of technology solution. Hence there is a plethora of solutions in the market today.

During my interactions with customers they often ask me:

What should we consider while selecting a solution?  Hence, I am going to talk about important factors to consider while choosing a solution.

Who owns the data?

Clearly it is your data and you own it. You are the owner! That’s the only acceptable answer when you are assessing a cloud collaboration solution.  Once both employees and vendors begin sharing drawings, plans, photos and contracts all on the same platform, it is important that it remain clear who maintains the rights to the data – It is you!  This allows companies to plan in advance for any potential litigation and understand how their cloud vendor will respond to e-discovery and subpoena requests, minimizing delays in the construction process.  If this component is missing, you must continue your search…

Who can access the data?

Be clear on the process of assigning permissions and access rights when evaluating a vendor.  The owner of the data (Contractor, Owner, Developer, Architect) should have full control over this, it should be easy to manage and crystal clear in the user interface to avoid potential sharing of confidential information.  In a high stakes construction project, sometimes seemingly simplest mistakes can cause major delays or even lead to legal issues.

How secure is the data?

The importance of security is hard to overstate as organizations are now hit on a regular basis with denial of service (DoS) and a variety of other cyber-attacks.  It is absolutely essential to ask and understand the security perimeters adopted by the vendor. Try to understand if there is an attack, or a breach whether or not the vendor has a mechanism in place to monitor and respond. After the dust has settled how quickly can you, with help of the vendor, conduct an audit?

Not only will an outage of the system ripple through the project, delaying the general contractor, design team and everyone else involved, the loss or leakage of data could cost big; the breach will manifest by way of loss of company’s reputation and future business. It can consume and distract an organization due to mandatory SEC filing, plethora of compliance issues and a potential of litigation.


SkySite Project is a File/Design Sharing platform specializing in technology solutions for the AEC. SkySite Project is powered by ARC Document Solutions.

ARC Document Solutions, Inc. headquartered in Walnut Creek, CA, is a publicly traded company that provides specialized document solutions to businesses of all types, with an emphasis on the non-residential segment of the architecture, engineering and construction (“AEC”) industry.