There are a number of benefits associated with technology that is delivered in the cloud. For the construction industry, one of the chief advantages is the fact the system can be accessed from anywhere, enabling users to edit and share documents easily. In the past, contract documents typically haven’t been available in the cloud, but now that is beginning to change.

Managing contracts can be a tedious process, as it requires construction professionals to review every clause. The AIA (American Institute of Architects), www.aia.org, Washington, D.C., has offered a system to manage contracts for a number of years. In the past, the technology could be installed on a computer, but this meant the users were tied to using the platform on one computer in the office.

Just last week though, the organization announced a completely redesigned system, ACD5, that will allow contractors, architects, and owners to find, edit, share, and finalize contract documents in the cloud. While that in and of itself provides big value for the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) teams, AIA also has a slew of other new features that will make it easier for teams to manage contract documents.

For example, the technology can also be accessed on both Mac and PCs, as the technology works within a browser and is compatible with both platforms. Additionally, users are able to actively manage the review process by sharing documents, limiting review time, determining who can provide edits and comments, and more. Additionally, ACD5 will enable users to edit documents online or offline.

In addition to being offered in the cloud, perhaps one the other most noteworthy feature is the new document-management functionality including “Help Me Select an AIA Template” tool, side-by-side comparison, clause library, and a template library.

The company says the new system has enhanced security and protection, with data-encryption technology, uninterrupted and secure document access, and data protection.

This new solution addresses the construction industry’s need to have access to documents anywhere and to be able to share and edit documents easily across the entire project team. While this is just one example of a new solution being delivery in the cloud, the construction industry has a number of tools at its disposal to easily collaborate on a job.