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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Flexible, easily configurable project management software? It’s not a myth!

Miree Le Roy - Friday, June 17, 2011

I’ve talked often on this blog about the availability of project management software for the past 20 years being limited to highly specialised, inflexible, out of the box solutions. And in order to make these solutions fit their organisation, companies were either forced to change their processes, or pay for customisations to be made in order to suit them better. Both these options seem unappealing, so what is the answer?  Read More...

Connecting the dots - why does connectivity matter to project managers?

Miree Le Roy - Thursday, May 12, 2011

Since March, I’ve been keeping this blog updated from my new home for the next few months in Northern China. The internet and my laptop have been a godsend here, with the ability to remotely connect to my email and Microsoft Dynamics CRM in our offices in Australia, and also by using Skype to connect with family, friends and colleagues. But last week I had a very unfortunate mishap that involved a bowl of soup and my laptop keyboard. Fortunately, I was able to get the keyboard fixed relatively cheaply here, but it did mean I was without a laptop, and hence very little communication with Australia, for just over a week.  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...

What else is new for Project Managers in IPM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011?

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, March 01, 2011

So far I’ve covered a few of the new features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 that are going to make it a lot easier to manage your projects within IPM. With customisable dashboards to show you snapshots of information about your project in the one screen, to conditional formatting to change the appearance of certain items in a list so they stand out, the new version of IPM definitely looks exciting for project managers. So I thought, why not treat you with a few more new features?   Read More...

If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong - how MS Dynamics CRM 2011 dashboards can help

Miree Le Roy - Monday, February 14, 2011

I found the great quote for my headline from a collection of project management sayings from Steven Seay’s ProjectSteps blog. I thought it was quite quirky and relevant not only to project management in general but also to today’s discussion on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 dashboards.   Read More...

How project managers can benefit from conditional formatting in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Miree Le Roy - Monday, February 07, 2011

Here at IPM Global we’re gearing up for the global on-premise release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, earmarked for February 28th. In preparation, I’ve been doing some exploring to discover all the cool new features of CRM 2011 that are going to make your lives a lot easier as project managers and IPM users.   Read More...


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