Today we present the third of three articles about Cloud Hosting specifically for the AEC Industry. We look forward to your comments
‘Cloud is a viable option, but not a top consideration for many CIOs.’
As far as attention-grabbing headlines go, this one from Gartner certainly did the trick for me. More so than that, it got me thinking about the current state of the cloud in general, and how it’s truly being perceived within the AEC industry.
Gartner recently released its 2015 CIO Survey, "Flipping to Digital Leadership: The 2015 CIO Agenda. The report uncovered that only a small minority of CIOs look to the cloud as a first consideration.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the numbers: 9% of users today are not even considering cloud computing for software-as-a-service (SaaS) projects and only 15% when it comes to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) projects
What I find most interesting is the fact that, according to Gartner, one of the biggest obstacles comes from infrastructure and operations leaders. Exhibiting a more protective nature when it comes to their existing infrastructure, I&O leaders are resorting to “cloud-washing” as a reason for not seriously pursuing a true cloud-based solution.
I can tell you that the idea of “cloud washing” is indeed a very legitimate concern, but should not be applied as a blanket reason for making the cloud a secondary consideration for IT projects.
So what’s the solution? Gartner suggests that I&O leaders should be instituting a 'cloud-first' consideration for every project on an application-by-application basis. Furthermore, companies should be evaluating all implementation models at the outset of a project in order to help save time and produce better results.
This advice, while certainly valid, can often fall under the category of easier said than done. Having worked within the AEC industry for over 15 years, I have experienced firsthand a user base that exhibits a ‘show me’ mentality when it comes to any technology. So I can certain attest to the fact that the only way to get tentative users on board with the cloud is to come at them with tangible reasons.
Take our customer Torcon as an example. Three years ago, Torcon approached us about hosting its Prolog solutions. This despite the fact that the company owns its Prolog and Prolog WebSite licenses. The company simply needed to run leaner and realized that by using our ProjectXnet Portal to host and maintain its Prolog solutions it could reduce the expense associated with in-house hardware and maintenance costs.
That opened up a world of new possibilities. For instance, by handing off the hosting and maintenance capabilities of its Prolog suite to us, Torcon has now freed up resources to focus on true value add associated with those solutions. For example, custom reports. The company has built a rather impressive and extensive library of reports and letters all customized for Torcon.
The company has even been able to create custom cross-project reports to identify trends such as subcontractor safety. This is due to the fact that every project is executed using standardized processes and a single database. It’s one of those value-adds that could not have been as easily realized without the ability to have key IT resources freed up from hosting and maintenance, which is now handled via the cloud.
Technology leaders face two very critical challenges that are currently on a path of convergence: traditional technologies and operating models are becoming outdated and IT solutions need a fresh approach.
With that in mind, it makes me wonder why some in the market still aren’t considering cloud first. I agree with Gartner on the fact that in some cases on-premise, non-cloud deployment models might be the right fit, but all options must be considered in order to make the best use of available resources.
To that I turn the debate over to the AEC industry and ask:
Is cloud a primary or secondary consideration for your organization? And if it’s the latter, what group seems to be the biggest obstacle?