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The Role of Cloud Technology in AEC Data Resiliency

Digital transformation has been sweeping through the AEC sector. The ability to access critical project data anytime, anywhere, and on any device has become indispensable. In this context, data resilience ensures uninterrupted access to project documents, facilitating seamless work for professionals. It helps foster a collaborative work environment, leading to efficient project completion.

While BIM serves as a central platform for project data access, professionals require mobile devices and cloud storage to access this information. A recent report by Dodge Construction Network (DCN) in partnership with Egnyte, titled “Data Resilience in Design and Construction: How Digital Discipline Builds Stronger Firms,” addresses this need. Let’s read on!

What Is Data Resiliency?

Data resiliency is ensuring the continuous availability and integrity of project-related assets. In the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector, it translates to project data, design documents, construction plans, and critical business information.

AEC projects adopt a comprehensive data management approach, emphasizing data availability, integrity, security, and recovery in case of mishaps. This ensures project data accessibility within the entire project lifecycle and across various stakeholders.

Now the problem is that, while this data can be accessed on desktops, the same level of accessibility is often lacking when it comes to mobile devices. DCN and Egnyte’s report shows that just 39% of architects, engineers, and contractors have consistent, unimpeded access to their data at least 90% of the time, and a major challenge is the inability to access documents on mobile devices.

Additional challenges involve delayed access and software constraints, resulting in reworks and scheduling problems. The data points towards cloud-based solutions to mitigate these issues.

Cloud Technology and AEC Data Resiliency

Over the past decade, cloud computing has emerged as a transformative force, fundamentally reshaping the way individuals and organizations store, access, and manage data. From individuals storing personal files in the cloud to large enterprises migrating mission-critical workloads, the cloud has democratized access to advanced computing resources, enabling innovation, collaboration, and business agility on a global scale.

Cloud technology and data resiliency in the AEC industry means providing a dynamic and scalable environment for professionals to not only store their critical project data but also fortify their data resiliency strategies. The cloud’s inherent redundancy, automated backup capabilities, and recovery options align with the demands of the AEC sector, where project data integrity and availability are paramount. By harnessing the power of the cloud, AEC organizations can ensure that their data remains accessible, secure, and resilient.

Cloud Technology Benefits

  • Data Accessibility: Cloud technology enables AEC professionals to access project data from anywhere, fostering flexibility and remote collaboration.
  • Automated Backups: Cloud platforms often offer automated backup and version control, reducing the data loss risk.
  • Disaster Recovery: Cloud providers typically ensure data availability even in the face of unexpected events.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Cloud-based collaboration tools facilitate real-time sharing and editing of project documents within the team.
  • Security: Cloud providers invest heavily in data security, offering encryption, access controls, and compliance measures to protect data.
  • Remote Access: Data can be accessed via mobile devices and tablets to enhance decision-making.
  • Efficient Data Management: Data management is streamlined, making it easier to organize, search, and retrieve information.
  • Integration: Cloud platforms can integrate with AEC tools. Autodesk’s cloud platform Forma is a great tool for AEC professionals to boost efficiency.
  • Data Resilience: By leveraging the cloud, AEC firms can significantly enhance their data resiliency, reducing the risk of data loss.
  • Business Continuity: Cloud technology contributes to business continuity by ensuring data availability, even in challenging situations.

The integration of cloud technology for AEC data resiliency will bring a new era of efficiency, collaboration, and security. Cloud solutions offer the flexibility to access and manage project data seamlessly, ensuring its availability and integrity across diverse devices and locations.

However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that while cloud providers invest heavily in security, firms must also take an active role in safeguarding their data. Cybersecurity measures and employee training are essential. With proper tools and protective measures in place, a robust digital infrastructure can be established, and cloud technology can be harnessed to its fullest potential.

Increasing Number of Data Centers

While we are talking about data storage, its necessary to also talk about data centers. Increasing demand for data storage has led to a proliferation of data centers worldwide. As businesses rely heavily on data resiliency and accessibility, they require more data centers to meet their storage requirements.

This surge in data center construction highlighted the need to make them sustainable. Firms must prioritize environmentally responsible practices, such as optimizing energy efficiency, utilizing renewable energy sources, and minimizing environmental impact to ensure that the growth of data centers aligns with long-term sustainability goals.

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