Is cloud computing the answer for construction companies struggling through the economic downturn?

Miree Le Roy - Thursday, November 17, 2011
There’s no denying the economy is struggling.  The ripple effects of the 2008 ‘Global Financial Crisis’ are still being felt across the world, worse in some places, but still being felt all the same. Australia hasn’t been quite as hard hit as our European and North American counterparts, but there is still a noticeably sluggish feel to the economy compared to the boom years of 5 – 10 years ago.

One of the sectors that has seen a slump all over the world is construction, and with a slump comes reduced profits, and ultimately less confidence in ‘expensive’ investments such as new software.

But software could actually be a smart investment during a downturn. As John Chaney pointed out in the CFMA’s May/June issue of Building Profits, in previous economic downturns the contractors who have emerged stronger from recessions are those who have embraced new technologies.

Cloud computing is one such new technology that is becoming a buzz in the IT industry. And, according to Joe McKendrick of Forbes, in the present economic climate cloud computing makes sense. Cloud computing is essentially like renting a house.  You pay a monthly fee to use the software housed on someone else’s servers, and the fee is calculated on a per user basis, so you only pay for what you need.

This means less upfront costs for your own infrastructure and more flexibility and innovation to customise software. Updates and maintenance are also taken care of by the software provider, and the data is backed up and safe in the event of a natural disaster or power outage at your office.

Cloud computing is paving the way for small business start ups and larger companies to test new innovations without a large capital investment and long term commitment. Through developments in cloud computing, construction companies are able to, in the middle of a downturn, invest in new software to help streamline processes and save money. And this is exactly the kind of innovation and forward thinking needed to steer construction companies through the current economic downturn and come out stronger at the other end.

If you’d like to know more about the cloud version of IPM’s project management software, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Bridging the gap between project management and software

Miree Le Roy - Monday, October 17, 2011

Software has long since been an important tool in project management, but for many years has not really been very project management friendly. For decades, project management software has been limited to highly specialised solutions with very little room for manoeuvre, or solutions developed on accounting frameworks that look, feel and ‘think’ like accounting systems.   Read More...

Tracey Brunstrom and Hammond choose IPM to standardise documentation and manage correspondence

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We’re very pleased to announce the publication on the Microsoft website of our latest IPM case study. We’ve recently been working with one of our newer clients, Tracey Brunstrom and Hammond, to share with you their experience of IPM and how it has helped them provide independent project management services across Australia and Singapore.  Read More...

A real life example of how IPM is helping to streamline project management

Miree Le Roy - Thursday, May 26, 2011

I know that this blog has often talked about the benefits of IPM and how they can help you manage your projects better, so we thought it might be a good idea to show you real world example of IPM in action.  Read More...

Project management is evolving, so can IT keep up?

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last week I came across a really interesting blog entry from Adeline Teoh, the editor of projectmanger.com.au. Looking back at project management as a profession over the last 30 years, the article talks about how there has been a paradigm shift in project management, whereby the profession is no longer confined to just construction and defence anymore. As companies are realising the importance of structured organisation and management of people and processes, the field of project management has stretched its influence to other disciplines such as IT, health and community development.  Read More...

How mature are your project management tools?

Miree Le Roy - Friday, April 15, 2011

I recently came across an interesting survey from Cognitive Technologies Inc that looked to investigate the correlation between project success and the type and ‘maturity’ of project management tools employed by organisations.   Read More...

How virtual communication is changing the face of project management

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Good communication between a project manager and his or her project team, clients and subcontractors has always been an important aspect of successful project management. There are tons of blogs out there on how to improve project communication, and many project failures can often be attributed to poor communication between the project team. Project management is as much about good communication as it is about good management.  Read More...

Collaboration is one of the best ways to ensure project success

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Since childhood I’m sure most of us have been continually told about the benefits of team work and how success is often achieved when people work together. Motivational speakers feast on team work and collaboration and sometimes the meaning can get lost in mushy motivational stories about working together.  Read More...

5 advantages of project management software

Miree Le Roy - Thursday, March 17, 2011

As the days of managing projects with pencils, foolscap and good old brain power morphed into days of spreadsheets and shoeboxes, people began to realise that spreadsheets could actually provide them with a better way of doing things. Now we are experiencing a similar transition from spreadsheets and shoeboxes to an even better way of doing things with dedicated, specialised project management software. However, human nature shows that we are often resistant to change, and this is completely understandable with a decision to invest in project management software, as it is often a considerable investment.   Read More...

Making project mistakes is only ok so long as you learn from them!

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, March 08, 2011

There has been a lot of talk in the project management blogosphere lately focussing on project failure and how it can actually lead to success. However, one of the key points I have taken away from all these blogs is that failure only contributes to future success if you learn from the mistakes you made the first time. Failure is obviously no good if you continue to make the same mistakes over and over, without any change to your practices in light of what the failure is showing you.   Read More...


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