Revolutionizing the AEC sector: embracing the cloud for enhanced efficiency and collaboration

written by
Alex Hauger
Jan 5, 2024
minutes read

AEC firms have been propelled into the digital age with the introduction of ISO 19650 and the Building Safety Act (BSA), leading to the necessity of cloud-based storage. This necessity for the ‘cloud’ goes hand in hand with the enforcement of the golden thread of information and the legal need for secure, long-term storage capabilities. 

AEC firms and the digital age

The turn towards cloud-based systems marks a significant change in the culture of AEC, with physical storage solutions previously dominating the industry. This cultural shift has developed dramatically over the past 10 years with cloud-based solutions increasing in popularity and becoming accepted by major insurance firms as the safer and more preferable storage solution.

In this current digital age, tangible media comes with a large degree of risk as physical technology, such as servers, have shorter lifespans than those of buildings. There is also a degree of human/physical error that can occur with on-site physical storage, such as: water leaks, data corruption or power surges, which can render servers/paper documents useless. 

With current guidelines outlining 30 years as the minimum storage length, no current operating system or hardware will survive that long, making the cloud the only viable storage solution for today’s architectural projects.

The Cloud and Microsoft

When you weigh up the potential risks of physical storage systems, cloud-based systems become the only option for AEC firms. By providing a system that can automatically back up data, be remotely accessible to users, and remain viable throughout a project's life cycle, the cloud solution cements itself as the future of AEC firms. 

When considering cloud services, Microsoft 365 is the gold standard in terms of both longevity and security. With the guarantee of long-term storage secured through Microsoft's system, document controllers can focus their energy on the information itself, rather than its storage.

Security is also a key issue that is solved through Microsoft, with the cloud set up through SharePoint, making it extremely safe and easy to manage as data security is guaranteed by Microsoft's data retention policies and cyber security essentials. 

Atvero is built upon SharePoint and utilizes all of the safety features enabled by Microsoft's systems, creating a system primed to protect AEC firms. Atvero ensures that the cloud is accessible to small firms in the same way as larger firms, as no matter the size of the firm, information must be stored and protected. There is a misconception that cloud-based systems are reserved for larger firms, but this is not the case as sometimes small firms have the larger projects and vice versa, making the cloud the perfect size-fits-all solution.

The cloud also allows for firms to contain and maintain their own information, without relying on the CDEs of clients and contractors. In doing this, the risk of clients and contractors removing access to information in the case of litigation is eliminated, and your firm becomes better protected. It also allows you to take control and track all of your information, making sure that you know what is coming in from subcontractors in case any future issues arise. 

The cultural shift towards the cloud and the embrace of its capabilities has allowed firms to solidify their information security for the future. For this reason, most AEC firms have accepted that the adoption of the cloud is now the safest and most logical step forward.

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