The cloud is not just another generic term that should make managing IT (information technology) in construction seem confusing. In fact, construction-technology providers are embracing the concept in multiple different models in order to deliver a more robust set of tools.
The cloud is having a profound impact on the residential construction market. This week BuilderMT, www.buildermt.com, Lakewood, Colo., gave a sneak peek into its forthcoming cloud development program. With its Web Services API scheduled to begin rolling out the third quarter of this year, BuilderMT is opening up its WMS (Workflow Management Suite) solution, which is an on-premise solution, to be opened up to Internet-scale integrations. The company also says it will begin moving its next-generation products to the platform it calls BuilderMT Cloud.
The first BuilderMT product the company plans to deliver using this model is a Models and Options Manager (MOM). This will give builders a product that helps create, modify, and maintain the full product database that feeds data from BuilderMT products, as well as third-party products. After releasing its MOM product, BuilderMT says moving its Trade Portal and Superintendent Portal products to the new Cloud platform will be “aggressive.” In addition, the plan includes adding new features such as Data Archiving and KPI (key performance indicator) dashboards.
BuilderMT says its cloud platform is a multi-tenant and the company will support pure off-premise products as well as hybrid solutions. The company points to the hybrid model as being a successful one used by large enterprise-class solutions. As BuilderMT describes it, using transport layer security, also known as SSL, in its cloud deployment, clients will be able to initiate requests to BuilderMT’s servers, which can return appropriate responses. In all this could help enable speed, capability, and computing power improvements for clients.
Could such a model be embraced by the homebuilding market? The hybrid model presents a unique option for the market, as builders look to deploy technology solutions using both on-premise and cloud-based models. In a way, it represents a best-in-breed model that some builders have grown accustomed to using.
Tom Gebes, president, BuilderMT, says cloud deployment holds strong promise for driving down IT costs for builders. He classifies such savings as being “dramatic” in terms of IT infrastructure, while also pointing to the advances in power and functionality.