The current COVID-19 pandemic has made a strong business case for risk management. It has also driven a surge in businesses adopting cloud-based solutions as they try and scramble to transition to a work at home environment for most employees.
One software firm in particular, InEight, has seen a major spike in businesses interested in their solutions. InEight is a cloud-based construction project management software firm that strongly focuses on risk management.
CEO, Brad Barth recently commented that “Attendance in webinars has gone way up in the last couple of weeks because people are being opportunistic and looking to improve tools and processes for when things go crazy again.”
During the 2008 financial crisis, there was a similar response. Businesses used that financial crisis as a learning moment to hone-in on their planning, scheduling, and execute better project selection. It is likely that the current pandemic is also causing many organizations to pause again to reflect on how they can create more agile planning and execution in the future.
Barth stated that “InEight has been around for 30 years and we’ve seen a couple of slowdowns. In 2008 work started to slow down and people started to get a better focus on their planning and schedules and owners became much more discerning on projects. Now owners will be much more selective for which projects they fund and having a focus on the risk and schedule is more important than ever.”
Is there an advantage of using the cloud for project management? According to Barth, there are two major advantages.
Businesses that do not have the size or resources to support an internal IT department can take advantage of software like InEight. By using cloud-based software, businesses don’t need to spend money on expensive hardware, implementation costs, and continuous management. With cloud software, comes the functionality of experienced IT staff to support the application.
The scalability and flexibility of cloud-based services are proving to be an essential lifeline for businesses throughout this pandemic. Fluctuations in demand and bandwidth are easily scalable, allowing businesses to instantly increase their workloads when needed. Plus, employees have the accessibility to access program data from anywhere, meaning they can seamlessly continue their work from home, while still being able to collaborate with essential team members.
The construction industry, in particular, has long had a reputation for falling behind schedule, going over budget, and lack of productivity. While some of these factors are due to the nature of the work, budgets and schedules are not so much execution problems but planning problems instead. With cloud software, the collaboration between key stakeholders and all employees is facilitated, ensuring schedules can be properly prepared.
“We’re experiencing this now, people are working from home and not from a construction project, and people are almost always working in different places, be they the home, the office or a worksite. Multiply that by every stakeholder and what’s happening on the architect, engineering, and owner side. Even small projects share dozens of people trying to collaborate and not standing next to each other.” Barth said.
Barth claims that one of the major derailments to productivity is lack of knowledge transfer from one project to another and risks not being properly identified and accounted for.
“Schedules are not properly prepared, and the craft of project management needs to evolve and take a more formal approach, particularly regarding risk. The finger is often pointed at people in the field and it’s largely a function of getting the budget and schedule right in the first place,” he said.
“In mid-sized businesses, decisions are made by a small group of people with knowledge in their heads, and our cloud-based solution allows firms to spread that knowledge,” he said. “Companies get smarter by leveraging all the information the company has in that knowledge library.”
Enter InEight’s risk algorithm. The software is designed to create a knowledge library as a business builds each new project. It tracks and stores the details between what the initial plan was and what the final outcome was. This knowledge library facilitates risk management as it can automatically identify risks that may not have been thought of initially and incorporate them into the planning process.
The common data environment that the InEight knowledge library creates, provides real-time information and insights to help minimize risks. With simple, full visibility to all performance metrics and predictable project controls, businesses can control project costs, manage scheduling, and easily collaborate with all stakeholders involved in the project.
If your business is currently reflecting on what changes need to be made in order to ensure workflow continuity and better manage risks moving forward, MBC can help. Our team of experts can design the best cloud environment for your specific requirements and also ensure that your employees are given the right resources to understand and adapt to their new environment. To learn more about how we can help your business leverage the best of cloud solutions to help you manage risk, budgets, productivity, and more, get a free assessment today.