Unlike a decade ago when the Great Recession reared its ugly head, the U.S.-based architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is booming today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in fact, the value of active construction projects – both private and public – hit over $1.3 trillion at the beginning of October 2018. While that number is impressive in and of itself, it doesn’t tell the whole story as it relates to individual players in the market. The market is as competitive as ever, for reasons old and new, but it’s also undergoing a massive transformation. Advancements in construction technology, data analytics, cloud computing, AI, ML, 3D printing and the IoT are changing the industry in previously unimaginable ways. Providing end users access to these technologies is huge challenge, too. Enter itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS) + Google Cloud.
Industry challenges and how cloud VDI enables enterprises to deliver game-changing construction technology
Like oil & gas, the construction industry is notorious for being slow to adopt new technologies. In order to stand up to the competition, however, companies simply must do so. Major projects are now being run through comprehensive building information modeling (BIM) platforms which span from ideation to implementation. Delivering such construction technology to end users with Google Cloud-based IT infrastructure management and VDI solution like itopia CAS is a surefire way to overcome many of the challenges the industry is facing. Let’s look at some of the problems automated, cloud-based VDI and IT infrastructure management helps construction companies solve.
- Labor shortage – We often hear about the labor shortage across all industries, but in the construction industry, it’s especially troublesome. After the 2008 housing crisis, for instance, over 1.5 million skilled workers left the industry and only half have returned since then. In addition, as baby boomers who dominated construction for years retire, companies are finding it difficult to attract younger talent. Those youngsters expect on-demand access to modern construction technology from any device and the convenience of the cloud they are already accustomed to, as well. With itopia CAS, even the least skilled IT pros can deliver the applications and end user experience those employees expect with single-click automation.
- Cost crunch – The market is super competitive and construction companies cannot afford to get left in the dust with obsolete technology. Add to that the rising material costs, particularly as demand increases after a natural disaster like the devastating wildfires in California and super powerful hurricanes in the Atlantic. Companies simply must cut costs. itopia CAS enables companies to reduce TCO of IT by 40 percent with tools like server uptime scheduling and autoscaling that optimize GCP resource utilization. In addition, Google Cloud is the only hyperscale cloud provider that offers Custom Machine Types, which lets IT pros configure VMs with the exact amount of CPU and RAM they need for different workloads.
- Technology adoption – Not only are the companies in the industry notoriously slow to adopt new construction technology, but they also often lack the IT expertise to implement it. In addition, employees tend to be apprehensive of new technology and ways of working. itopia CAS enables IT admins to deliver new software platforms with single-click deployments easily and through a single dashboard, without impacting the end user experience. In addition, the new end to end project management and collaboration software include 3D modeling and visualization modules that need extra resources to run. itopia CAS enables IT pros to deploy virtual graphics workstations that leverage powerful GPUs in Google Cloud at a fraction of the cost of the physical workstations that were previously required to run these essential applications.
- Sluggish productivity – While most industries have been increasing productivity with new applications and advancements in cloud computing, productivity in the construction industry has seen little or no improvement for decades, according to McKinsey & Co. There are many reasons for this, but companies are beginning to adopt more collaborative construction technology platforms – like BIM software from Autodesk, for instance – that enable them to improve productivity from architecture to engineering to actual construction. With itopia CAS + Google Cloud, companies can ensure that workers have access to the latest and greatest tools on any device. IT pros can deliver these powerful solutions securely and at a much lower cost than on-premises VDI or on dedicated workstations that can handle the graphics-intensive applications common in the industry.
The AEC industry is super-hot right now and going through a massive digital transformation. Some even say this is the biggest change since the industrial revolution. Companies that have been traditionally slow to adopt new construction technology need to step up in order to stay competitive, period. With itopia CAS + Google Cloud, companies have a better way to deliver new technology to users anywhere at a much lower cost than trying to do it manually and on-premises. Not only that, but itopia’s advanced automation capabilities free up IT admins’ time to work on more strategic projects, like leveraging AI, ML, 3D printing and the IoT. What better place is there to do that than Google Cloud?