This article was originally published on the ARC Doc Solutions blog on January 12, 2016.
We’ve written a lot about “the cloud” in our newsletters and SKYSITE blog content, but sometimes it’s worth slowing down and explaining concepts that are maybe not as well understood as we think. Like, what is this illustrious “the cloud” anyway? And more importantly why should you care. As far as tech jargon goes “the cloud” and its value to the construction industry and beyond is relatively straightforward. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines “the cloud” as cloud computing for:
Enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Okay, maybe that definition isn’t so straightforward. In English, cloud computing means you can easily access your data (drawings, pictures, documents and other media) anywhere, anytime, on any device. While arguably not as important as clouds in the sky, “the cloud” involving computers has some clear advantages over floating water vapor.
For instance, cloud computing allows you to place all of your important documents in a single online location that can be accessed from your phone or tablet or home computer. Sure, actual clouds look prettier and make it rain, but for the office or jobsite you can’t really beat that utility. This single source with multiple access points means your team can communicate and work more effectively.
In construction, the cloud makes getting reprints for a drawing obsolete, reduces mistakes, and streamlines collaboration. One person (with admin rights of course) makes the changes and everyone with access to those documents gets those changes in real time. Cloud computing means that your team is always working from the latest version of the project. The latest construction drawing management apps, like SKYSITE, allow you to make those very changes on your preferred device.
The workflow would look something like this: you mark up a drawing at work on your tablet while on the jobsite, but then you head home and want to check the status of your update, so you view or comment from your desktop at home. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask us.
ARC Document Solutions is a California-based company that provides document management services and products for clients from coast-to-coast. Focusing specifically on the infrastructure industry, ARC provides printing, archiving and hyperlinking services, as well as mobile drawing viewer, SkySite Project. ARC Document Solutions can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 844-759-7483.