There has been a lot of talk as of late in the construction industry about the impact the cloud can have on business—especially processes like project management at the jobsite. But is the cloud also beginning to hover over the estimating departments in construction companies?

One of the most commonly cited benefits of the cloud is being able to access data on any device and at any time. However, beyond the jobsite, there are a few benefits IT departments can experience in the office as well.

According to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), www.nist.gov, Gaithersburg, Md., there are a number of benefits of the cloud including on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. With this in mind, the cloud can be a good option for multiple different construction processes.

Which applications are best suited for the cloud and why? From estimating, to project management, there are a number of cloud-based solutions available to the construction industry. Still each construction company has different business priorities and needs to determine which cloud-based applications fit best.

On Center Software, www.oncenter.com, The Woodlands, Texas, a provider of takeoff, estimating, and project-management technology, indicates applications that help a workforce collaborate through the project lifecycle are ideal for the cloud. With a single source of data residing in the cloud, this ensures no matter where the data is being accessed from, everyone is working with the same set of data.

For many companies, using the same data across a project is key, and cloud-based applications offer the opportunity to do this. Whether it is estimating or project management, cloud-based technologies are beginning to gain more traction in the construction industry.