Many in the construction and facility management industries have already migrated to the cloud to break down data silos and support collaboration across teams. Running your own servers is expensive, from set up to servicing. But in the cloud, you can get centralized storage and processing that’s reliable, secure, and scalable. The next step is connecting clouds for a unified, 360-degree facilities management solution that bridges the last of the gaps in the life cycle. 

What is the cloud? 

Cloud computing is what killed your local video rental shop and the downtown record stores. Movies and music moved to the cloud, and now you can stream them on any Internet-connected device, any time and from anywhere. Instead of all that data being discrete and local, cloud computing puts everything on a series of remote servers that are hosted online, allowing you to store, manage, and process data more efficiently.    

What are the benefits of being in the cloud? 

Understanding the benefits of moving to the cloud is easier when you think about the drawbacks of legacy systems. 

Down on the ground 

Down here, everything is in its own data silo, and those silos can be small, right down to the size of a single laptop. Larger but equally limiting silos might be between teams or departments. 

Looking at the facilities and real estate industries, you can see how these silos make every stage of the life cycle slower, costlier. In design and construction, it’s harder to estimate costs when your financial data is separate from your architectural drawings. And once you have your as-built data, there’s no easy way to connect it to your operations and maintenance processes.   

And because the data is unconnected, it’s usually also not standardized, which means that even if you could get it together, there’s no easy way to process it. For something as simple as dates, if you don’t have a standardized format, which you would if all your data were together from the start, it’s hard to do simple processes like generating timelines or pushing back dates to accommodate delays.  

And for all the limitations, there are still a lot of costs associated with these older systems. The IT department is on the hook for sourcing, installing, and maintaining the local servers. Unless they can find off-the-shelf solutions, that could involve a lot of coding to keep everything safe and secure. And for all the costs, there’s still the issue of scalability. Adding more storage or processing power takes time and talent. 

Up in the cloud 

Migrating to the cloud saves you money. You don’t have to invest in physical servers, pay the IT team to set them up and keep them running, or supply the electricity to keep them on. You also don’t have to pay for the electricity to keep the AC units running to keep the servers at the right temperature. All of that is taken care of by the cloud provider. 

Another way the cloud saves you money is by keeping your data available. Many cloud providers’ service-level agreements guarantee 99% uptime. In fact, there’s five-nines availability, where a provider agrees to be up 99.999% of the time, which means only down 6 seconds a week. 

Cloud solutions also deliver better security. In fact, Gartner predicts that through 2025, 90% of cloud security failures will be the fault of the customers. 

With so many clear benefits, companies across industries have been making the move to the cloud. Gartner now estimates enterprise IT spending on cloud computing will overtake spending on traditional IT in 2025.  

What is cloud to cloud? 

If moving to the cloud makes good business sense, connecting your clouds makes even more. Up here, you’re able to get good answers to some of the toughest pressing questions in the facilities and real estate industries, including how you can: 

  • Improve the employee experience 
  • Increase operational connectivity 
  • Adapt and scale for the hybrid workplace 

Organizations know they need to deliver an exceptional employee experience if they want to increase productivity and retention. Employees have high expectations of the workplace, and if you’re asking them to come into the office, you need to justify the commute.

They also know they need to provide the best possible places at the lowest possible costs, which means being able to do everything from safety compliance to avoid fines to capital planning to efficiently meet future demands. 

With the rise of the hybrid workplace, there are also new demands for more agility and scalability. In the past, you might have known nearly exactly how many people were coming into the facility on any given day, making space planning and management much easier.

A simple example: when the number of people in the office is constant from Monday to Friday, so is the number of desks required. But new trends mean you have different people coming in on different days in different numbers. Now you need tighter, faster control on everything from desk bookings to lights and HVAC.  

What are the benefits of cloud to cloud? 

By connecting clouds, operators, facilities, and owners are equipped and empowered to make data-backed business decisions to meet current and future demands.  

It starts with a centralized platform for both project and facility management, connecting teams across departments and locations. Not only can everyone see what other teams are up to, they can also easily collaborate with them, sharing critical data and analytics that makes planning better for everyone. And because it’s all up to date in real time, response times are faster.  

You’re making better decisions and then everyone is acting on them faster.  

For example, someone notices a leak in the ceiling of one of the boardrooms. They use the integrated workplace management system (IWMS) to alert the facility manager, who then generates a work order for the maintenance team. Because that team has access to curated versions of the building information modeling (BIM) data, the maintenance technician can see exactly where the room is as well as the plumbing inside the ceiling and walls.

When they arrive onsite, they have all the tools and materials they know they’ll need to make the repairs. The facility manager, knowing that the tech is going to need the room to be empty to work, can even quickly check to see if anyone has booked the boardroom. If anyone has, the facility manager can adjust the booking.     


Many organizations in the construction and real estate industries have moved their digital operations to the cloud to support collaboration and break down data silos. The next step is connecting these clouds for even more efficiency and scalability. Legacy platforms are hard to set up and maintain, requiring a lot of time and talent.

Cloud computing offers lower costs, better reliability and security, while also making it easier to expand storage and processing power. With cloud to cloud, the next step in the digital transformation, organizations can solve many of their most pressing problems, including how to improve employee experience, increase operational connectivity, and adapt to the hybrid workplace. By connecting clouds, you can leverage all your data for better decisions you can then act on faster.      

About the author

Jonathan Davis

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