As SaaS (software-as-a-service) and cloud-based deployments continue to gain traction in the construction industry, many firms are focusing on making sure content is secured in the cloud. One area that is gaining a lot of attention is email.

Already 34% of construction companies have migrated email to cloud-based systems, with another 11% planning to do so in the next 12 months, according to the 2013 Constructech IT Playbook. Certainly, with this migration to the cloud, data security and data access are top concerns—and will be key considerations in 2014 and beyond.

Looking forward, Gartner, www.gartner.com, Stamford, Conn., predicts the market for cloud-based security services will grow from $2.1 billion in 2013 to $3.1 billion in 2015. In fact, Gartner says the top three cloud services in the future will be email security, Web security services, and identity and access management.

Gartner says as organizations gain more experience with SaaS and as consumer technologies are made available to corporate systems as a result of BYOD (bring your own device) trends, cloud-based security services will increase.

Winston Grey, information technology director, Consigli Construction, www.consigli.com, Milford, Mass., says email management and file-sharing technologies are two technologies the company will be actively seeking during the year ahead. “For 2014 we are definitely looking at … moving ourselves away from having these things locally and going to that … cloud environment.” While Grey is still in the process of looking at technologies for 2014, he says cloud-based email and file sharing will allow for better communication.

When it comes to email management, there are a lot of components for the construction industry to consider, but chief is the fact companies need an easy way to organize and manage all correspondence.

Construction Imaging by Viewpoint Construction Software, www.construction-imaging.com, is a platform designed specifically for the construction industry to organize correspondence. The ECM (enterprise-content management) software integrates with Microsoft Outlook for correspondence management.

Viewpoint Construction Software says with email accounting for 90% of all correspondence in today’s construction environment, users need a way to organize email content. By having an easy way for users to capture and archive email correspondence through a system such as Construction Imaging by Viewpoint Construction Software, emails can become part of the overall content-management system.

Emails are a core component of any construction IT strategy. Construction companies have long understood the value of moving to a paperless process and have responded by implementing content-management technology. A recent survey from AIIM (Assn. for Information and Image Management), www.aiim.org, Silver Spring, Md., confirms the ROI (return on investment) of moving toward paper-free processes, with finance and contracts departments demonstrating the greatest ROI. Interestingly, in this survey 50% of organizations reported recovering an investment within just 12 months.

Enterprise-content management systems have been a top priority for construction companies for years. More companies realize having an effective content-management strategy can help achieve corporate goals. Going forward, construction companies will be moving email to the cloud, adding a new set of considerations to the mix of email management.