Construction Today - September/October 2012 - (Page 114)

Institutional By Chad Michaelson popular estimating and project management tools are now, or soon will be, available on cloud-based platforms. This trend towards Internet-based access to software and data is viewed as an easy way to reduce IT costs while facilitating collaboration and improving access to information in the field. Undoubtedly, there are great benefits to cloud computing. But there are risks, too, and any company looking to take advantage of cloud computing needs to carefully consider the implications of giving a third party control over important business information. The following are some of the key questions to ask before you consider moving to the cloud. Information When Needed? You might assume you are not relinquishing ownership of your data by choosing to store it in the cloud, but the reality might surprise you. What happens if a billing dispute arises and you fail to pay for the services? Can the provider hold hostage your critical data? Because the law has not necessarily kept pace with the development of this technology, the answers to these questions are likely to depend on the language of your contract with the service provider. Unfortunately, most standard contracts do not favor the customer in this situation, and many providers are unwilling to negotiate contract terms with all but the largest of potential customers. Ownership questions also arise in the context of legal proceedings. Information stored in the cloud – especially things like email and project correspondence – may be relevant to pending or future litigation or be subject to subpoenas or court orders. You must ensure that your data can be readily accessed when necessary and that the data will be properly preserved until it is needed. Most cloud services are not designed with this in mind, and few providers are willing to undertake such an obligation. This makes it even more important that you maintain unrestricted access to your company’s data, along with the ability to move it to a secure location in order to comply with any obligations that might arise in the event of a lawsuit. Construction in the Cloud F or construction contractors who spend a great deal of time in the field, having access to important documents and software programs on demand from any location can help them run their businesses just as easily as if they were in the office every day. That’s why many contractors are making the move to “the cloud,” which means storing all data and software in a third-party location so that it can be accessed via the Internet rather than storing the information on servers at company facilities. The American Institute of Architects and ConsensusDocs – a collection of standard construction contracts – are working to provide shared online access to their proprietary contract-drafting software programs, and many Should We Entrust Sensitive Files? Data security and privacy are among the most important issues that arise in the context of cloud computing. If you intend to store sensitive or confidential information, like estimating files or project cost data, you must ensure that your cloud service provider is as concerned with protecting 114 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 http://www.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - September/October 2012

Construction Today - September/October 2012
Construction Law
Green Construction
Best Practices
Lighting Technology
HDC Development Cos.
NorthPoint Development
Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank – Moffett Towers
Demar Plumbing Corp.
Howard S. Wright – Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center
Rommel Cos.
NOW Specialties Inc.
NOW Specialties Inc.
Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co.
Victor International
Starwood Land Ventures
LaValley Building Supply
Congress Construction
McCormack Baron Salazar Inc.
Related California – The Village at Santa Monica
Ricco Construction
Taisei Construction Corp.
WPM Construction
WPM Construction – WR Sage West Apartments
Flagger Force
Miami International Airport – North Terminal improvements
Graham Construction and Engineering – Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
Hydrema US Inc.
CARCON Industries
Dennis’ 7 Dees
G.W. Peoples Contracting Co. Inc.
International Airport Development Co. Ltd. – Argyle International Airport
TL Wallace Construction Inc.
TL Wallace Construction Inc.
Morrison Hershfield – Newfoundland
APEX Block Corp.
Teqton Inc. U.S.
Dakota Transload
Empyrean Services
West Side Tractor Sales Co.
U.S. General Services Administration/VCC – FBI field building
Kohler Ronan LLC
Turner Construction – Martin Army Community Hospital
Last Look

Construction Today - September/October 2012