Construction industry turns to the cloud

Construction industry turns to the cloud

Matt Blowes July 20, 2018 Cloud Services, Construction, IT Trends

Cloud services are becoming the default answer across all industries. Even in more technology conservative sectors, like construction.

The John Holland Group is one known brand who recently made a major push to cloud services. ZDnet reported it recently moved the businesses' entire on-site IT infrastructure into the cloud, including its resources located at overseas offices. 

Moving to the cloud

For a business as large and established as John Holland, the move to the cloud wasn't made lightly. Amazon's AWS public cloud was the chosen solution and it was to host the entirely of the company's resources, including legacy software. It was made clear from the outset that performance was the driving force behind the change. 

Chief information officer Chris Walsh made clear cost was a serious factor, but it wasn't the top priority. 

"Putting things in AWS allows us to put things closer to where the projects are and also the regional offices," he explained. "That was one of the drivers. Cost was not. It was agility, placing services closer to my customers and users, and cost may come fourth or fifth."

Performance was the clear driving force behind the cloud transition. With a dispersed workforce, construction sites and multiple offices, the flexibility of a cloud solution made it an obvious choice. 

IT services continue

CIO Walsh made clear the transition to the cloud did not mean dumping their existing IT resources.

Even with a move to the cloud, John Holland's IT infrastructure still needed development, security, operations, and network management. Expertise was still required to ensure the new cloud infrastructure kept performing and improving. 

"It's not a 'We can automate all these things and then your job's gone, bye; we can automate those things, fantastic, but I want to retrain you and use you for all of these new things we're going to be doing," Walsh said.

John Holland has structured its cloud transition specifically to include retaining and retraining its IT staff to manage its cloud resources.

Where to start

Cloud services can be adopted in the way a construction firm prefers - it's largely a question of where to start. It may be a stable, well known software solution like Office 365. It may be moving to cloud infrastructure ahead of the next scheduled upgrade to on-site hardware, or it may be an entire move like John Holland. 

First is discussing your options.

Contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager to discuss cloud pathways, or even book a tour of our cloud data centre. 

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