The Cloud is more than just a trendy tech term — it’s a vital safety net, backup plan, and collaboration tool that your business needs. And you might not realize you need it until it’s too late.
Not sure it’s worth it to make the switch to cloud-based estimating software? Check out these 5 reasons why you should think twice about having your project data stored on a desktop computer in the office.
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Backup your files.
It’s been said many, many times before, but there’s a reason it’s worth repeating. Computers crash. Devices get damaged, lost, or stolen. Disasters strike offices. Backing up your files in a safe, secure way means one less thing you have to worry about.
Backing up files used to mean storing everything on a USB or external hard drive, but it’s been many years since cloud data storage has become the norm. Your smartphone likely backs up to the cloud, saving all of your photos and files without you having to do anything.
Shouldn’t your project data be similarly protected? With cloud-based software, your estimates are automatically stored online, so you never have to worry about lost files and having to start all over again. Making the switch to cloud storage after losing all of your files to a computer crash doesn’t really resolve your issue, it only prevents it from happening again. The solution? Backup your data sooner rather than later.
Do you only ever work from your computer in the office?
If the answer’s no, it becomes harder to perform your work correctly and efficiently if your estimating software isn’t cloud-based. If your work isn’t stored in the cloud, you can’t easily pick up where you left off on your laptop at home, on your tablet on a jobsite, or on your smartphone when a last-minute issue crops up.
With cloud-based estimating, you can work from anywhere — from home, from out of town, from a jobsite, or from the office. It can be hard enough to work remotely without having to worry about accessing all of the data you need to get the job done right.
When you’re out and you need to look something up on the internet, how do you do it? Do you go back to your home or office and log into your computer, or do you simply pull your phone out of your pocket? Chances are, it’s the latter.
We’re all used to the convenience and immediacy of using our smartphones for everything. Shouldn’t that include your estimating?
Don’t limit your estimators to working from their desktops. Cloud-based software isn’t installed on a computer, but instead accessed through web browsers, meaning that you can log into your account from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and pick right up where you left off with the device that’s most convenient for you.
As we just pointed out, cloud-based software isn’t installed locally on your computers, which means your project files and data aren’t saved on a computer either. Instead, they’re stored in the cloud, the perfect place for collaboration.
Rather than waiting for files to be sent over by other team members, you can log in and access everything from your own device. You can also collaborate with them in real time, with multiple estimators working on the same project, with all changes being saved to the cloud and viewable to everyone.
Imagine this scenario: one of your team members is working on an estimate. On Monday, they tell you they can’t come into the office because they came into contact with someone over the weekend who tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?
With cloud-based software, there are two major things you wouldn’t have to worry about: how your quarantined team member can access their project, and how your other team members can pick up the project, if need be, and continue it themselves.
In this example, your team member probably doesn’t have any symptoms yet if they have caught the virus, and could continue to perform their work from home — if your projects are stored in and accessible from the Cloud.
This isn’t a COVID-specific situation, however. Imagine if one of your team members came down with another illness, had a personal emergency, or otherwise abruptly couldn’t work. Could your team easily pick up where he or she left off?
And there you have it: 5 great reasons why cloud-based software should be an integral part of your construction estimating. Still not convinced? Check out our free executive report, My Estimators Don't Need The Cloud (and Other Common Misconceptions).