The engineering sector is dynamic - the industry may boom, or economies may lull, or projects may extend well over planned deadlines. These fluctuations in workload also mean fluctuations in workforce requirements as your demand for manpower and resources shifts from project to project. These factors can dramatically affect your own budgets and personnel pressures as your company grows and slows to accommodate. It makes sense then that you should have systems and processes that adapt and flex as your business needs do, without the walls buckling or bulging around you - and it is exactly this kind of dynamic business environment in which cloud computing can really shine.
Why move to the cloud?
Here are a few reasons why it’s time for engineers to build a bridge and join the migration to the cloud.
1. Stay ahead of the game
I know that the idea of updating or replacing long-standing systems can seem daunting. However, with technology moving at rapid speed, cloud computing allows you to keep your business ahead in your industry, without having to invest in expensive equipment or get your head around complicated systems. CAD Cloud solutions give you access to the infrastructure equivalent of a large corporate company on a small-business budget, leaving you much better positioned for growth.
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2. Software that scales its service to suit your business
Cloud engineering software can offer you incredible flexibility, allowing you to rapidly adapt your systems to support your current business circumstances. When you subscribe to various cloud services, you only need to sign up for the functions you require, and you can increase or decrease your use - and your spend - according to the demands of your business.
For example, California-based space exploration company, Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, credits cloud engineering software as being fundamental to supporting their company’s growth, “It enabled us to grow as a business. There was no way we were going to be able to stand up the processing platform required to handle the huge design, analysis and simulation challenges we faced without Epigrid.”
3. Mobile systems that work wherever you need to
Accessibility will be a game-changer for your engineering operations. Being able to access your data and systems from anywhere, anytime, on any device, will undoubtedly lead to an increase in productivity in your business. This is because all your documents, client information and project collateral is available, wherever you or your employees are working.
Whether you are on-site, at your desk or away from the office, you can:
- access and update project information
- order supplies or request services
- track time
- input timesheets
- pay bills
- collaborate with colleagues
4. Document Sharing & Storage
Engineers often need to send or share large documents with colleagues or clients. However, the seemingly small task of compressing files can become a frustrating and time-consuming job for even the most computer-savvy of engineers. Cloud document storage options are a more cost effective way of storing and instantly accessing plans, product data sheets, sitemaps, instruction manuals and application specific information.
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5. Full job visibility and effortless collaboration
Faster collaboration means faster decisions. With project-related documents updated in real-time, multiple stakeholders can efficiently view and evaluate changes, and expedite the decision-making process without unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing. This transparency reduces the likelihood of miscommunication, double-handling and errors, ultimately reducing man-hours and costs.
6. Job management in one place
It’s time to ditch the piles of paperwork, double-handling of information and inefficient filing systems. With cloud-based job management software you can manage the whole process - from quoting, to costing and time-tracking, through to invoicing - in one place.
7. Highly secure systems
Not surprisingly, the thought of handing the keys to your data over to another company may trigger alerts for you. However, it’s important to understand that providers build their business on a rock-solid reputation, and therefore it’s in their best interests to have highly reliable security measures. Economies of scale work to your benefit here; cloud software providers have the resources to invest significant money in ensuring their servers, data centers and connections are completely secure and constantly available.
8. Reduced overheads
A 2013 study of 1300 companies conducted by Rackspace found that 88% of cloud users achieved cost savings, while 56% agreed that cloud solutions had helped them boost profits. Not only will you save on IT-related costs such as servers and computer systems that quickly out-date, you’ll also reduce your need for IT support - 60% of the survey respondents said cloud computing had reduced their need for an IT team to maintain infrastructure. Providing that you select the right software vendor, you essentially have professional IT and software expertise available to you on demand to assist you. Most cloud providers offer predictable monthly costs based on the services you are actually using, and you are not tied in to any long-term contracts.
9. Real-time reporting
You know that crystal ball you’ve always wanted? Cloud solutions have the ability to offer you the next best thing. Real-time reporting through job management or accounting software takes the guesswork out of budget planning by giving you valuable insight to help you make more informed decisions to strategically drive your business growth.
For example, you can:
- Identify where you’re making the most money
- Find out who your most profitable employees are
- See profitability across clients,
- View estimated hours for a project against actual time
- Add custom fields to create your own reports
10. Disaster Recovery
Because your engineering data is hosted on external servers, should your premises fall victim to theft, fire, flood, technology outage or any other unfortunate circumstance, business-as-usual operations can continue without disruption to you or your customers - a huge benefit for the deadline-driven engineering world.
Cloud-based software has the potential to revolutionize the way that your engineering firm does business. Through increased efficiency, speedy collaboration and effortless file sharing, you’ll outclass competitors and impress clients - all while reducing your own administration time. The ease-of-use that cloud computing provides allows you to instead focus on your core competencies, without the distraction of technology and operational hiccups, so you can get back out into the field.
Need help setting up your Cloud Computing? Contact Converge Today!
Converge offers a new SOLIDWORKS reseller experience. Our mission is to work with you to deploy the most ideal product development environment for your company. Cloud-computing is a game-changer, and we know how to leverage it for you. We are a SOLIDWORKS Value-Added Reseller, and through our partners, we deliver Certified SOLIDWORKS Solutions across all industries. We wrap SOLIDWORKS products with a host of other services and solutions that give you a menu of options for optimizing your product development environment. Our solution set will empower remote workers, enable seamless collaboration, provide on-demand scaling, remove IT admin burdens, and eliminate the need for technology refreshes; together creating a powerful product development environment that will save you money and help you achieve better business outcomes.