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BUSI1013 Cloud Computing Assignment Solution
Technological adoption in several sectors has been revolutionizing the modalities of executing several activities. Construction industry being not an exertion has been adopting Technology with main goal of changing and digitizing construction processes. Construction industry has been growing over time and its ability to incorporate several disciplines makes it one of the most suitable areas to use technology effectively (Amarnath, Sawhney & Maheswari 2011, p. 1236). The sector has been noted to be highly fragmented with intensive data sharing to relevant professionals for analysis. Most of all the processes involved in construction industry should be conceptualized at preliminary stages of business development in order to avoid future problems. The industrial processes involved are; designing, building after having careful planning on the purpose of the structure, construction and other operations that require technological incorporation. More governmental agencies have been included into the industry during approvals and accreditation of building in a bid to factor out all safety measures. With pool of agencies being involved in construction process, sharing of data is one of the fundamental aspect that should be factored to avoid waste of time and resources. In this regard, it would be important to note that data management in the industry has been a challenge as a result of fragmentation because there is no predefined policies (Chong, Wong & Wang 2014, p.156).
From the year 2012, the rate of technological adoption in construction industry has been growing with alarming rate. It is cannot be subject to debate that, construction industry has been adamant on technological incorporation into its business activities. However, the notion has been fading for last five years. A survey done in 2012 showed that 16% of contractor advocated need for technology (Abedi, Fathi & Rawai 2013, p. 14). Later in 2017, the same survey was done again and it was found that 85% of contractors were using or planning to implement cloud computing technology in the industry. With almost all other business sectors having digitized their processes, construction professional have been finding it difficult to leverage their business operations. Some businesses have completely moved out of manual business processes. A good example can be observed from many state government agencies where almost all processes have been automated. In cases where proof of evidence such as rubber stamps and signatures are required, scanning and sending of documents can be used. Considering all authorization required from different state agencies are done and approval granted in an online mode, construction industry without technology can be said to be facing critical operational challenges (Oliveira, Thomas & Espadanal 2014, p. 498). Though from literal view of construction process may not depict the need to have technology, the higher level of management has been undergoing tough operational issues. To save time, resources, reduce required man power and make entire construction process transparent, technology can be suggested to be the solution.
Similarly, resource management in construction industry has been left using traditional methods which does not offer any operational efficiency and transparency. Manual business processes have been noted to be prone to fraudulent activities and inconsistency in reporting (Tezel & Aziz 2017, p. 236). Since it difficult for management to go through all manual processes to audit resource utilization, there are high chances that resources are mismanaged resulting to higher costs of construction. Some of the management issues and fraudulent activities that have been noted from manual processes include; collusion between various state agencies and contractors because they have to meet physically and know each other. These group of professionals have been settling on unforeseen expenses which are different from what has been reported in actual books of accounts. Finally, there has been lack of real-time track of records and activities in the industry. This has been dragging behind operational efficiency because executive have been taking more time to peruse, extract, analyze and present data for decision making. Kumar, Cheng, & McGibbney (2010, p. 315) argues that considering the fact that data extraction, analysis and presentation require resources and experts, construction expenses should be higher. Digitization of construction process eliminates many steps that are resource intensive in traditional processes. Using of cloud computing technology would consolidate most of the processes such as data collection, approvals by various agencies, data analysis and presentation. Once this has been done, even physical approvals of documents would be eliminated. This would be replaced by approvals which takes form of maker and checker. Through use of centralized database, construction industries would be able to initiate their required processes which government officials would be doing a thorough investigation for approvals (Cooley & Cholakis 2013, p. 4). With such pertinent issues, cloud computing turns to be an important tool in construction industry.
Literature review should be focused on the previous related researches that have been done to analyze use of cloud based technology in construction industry. In order to have an elaborate study, it would be important to some issues such as technology need, its importance and some future predictions on use of technology in the industry. Stakeholders in the construction industry have come to realize benefits that are associated with technological adoption (James & Verma 2012, p. 1658). Adoption of cloud computing in the industry has been necessitated by the need to have access real-time data by several stakeholders. Cloud computing makes it possible for organization to share and manipulate data from any part of the world. Since construction industry has been lagging behind on technological adoption, such benefits have not been realized as it has been witnessed from other sectors. In this case, several aspects would be analyzed to unearth the importance of adopting cloud computing in construction.
Cloud computing trends in construction industry
Once technology has been adopted in n industry, it is obvious that effects should be felt by all stakeholders as well as trading partners. In this regard, there are some cloud technologies that have actually impacted construction industry.
Mobile technology which is being used to bring all stakeholders on board at the same time. It is quite impossible to have all organizational employees in the office at the same time. To make sure such challenges are eliminated for the better part of the organization, mobile technology should be considered. With mobile technology, contractors are able to decentralize offices into every working site. Employees are able to access, updates and manage any changes remotely without need of going back to the office (Juan & Zheng 2014, p. 58). It is important to note that, some activities such as purchase and acceptance of materials can be done remotely with mobile technology. This results to substantial reduction on waste of time which in turn has increased organizational production. Mobile technology such as document collaboration, analytics dashboards and operational service dispatch cannot be underrated because it has made it possible to achieve some critical goals effectively. On the same note, ads that are available on mobiles can be used to help subject organization get work done immediately without much effort.
The next trend is on collaboration technology which makes communication among project members effective. Collaboration technology in construction industry is of great importance as it helps to minimize one-on-one email and phone calls. It has made project scheduling, planning, and sharing of messages as well as documents more convenient. In cases where project leader uses internet based technology to provide access to cloud-based services and access the same applications, it is obvious that all project team members would be brought on board (Habjan & Pucihar 2017, p. 257-258). Collaboration technology offers project team an opportunity to have a centralized location where all required documents, organizational communications and processes can be accessed randomly. This makes possible to manage organizational operations easily because all project members can access real-time data when required. Collaboration technology can be in different forms as well as have operational impact on various parts in construction industry. Therefore, cloud based collaboration technology makes it possible to all stakeholders share from the same pool of data in order to reduce operational costs.
3D Modelling Technology
Additionally, virtual reality has become of importance in the construction industry because it can be used by the construction company to provide a desired walkthrough to customers. To achieve the virtual reality in construction industry, 3D modelling takes the center of the design. Since industry has been undergoing revolution due to technological innovation, customers’ have been prompting for actual tough of the product before acquiring the same (Feuerlicht & Margaris 2012, .p 7). To be able to meet customers demand on time, 3D models can be shared or presented through cloud collaboration tools. Sharing and presenting digital content by contractors makes captures attention of the customer which results to customer satisfaction. Since it has been observed that all communication strategies should be moved online, designers are able to showcase their products to customers and contractors. At this point it would be worthy to note that, cloud computing technology is a requirement in construction industry. It is an essential tool from the design stage to the maintenance stage. Several technologies should be brought together in order to come up with suitable technology that can support specific requirements to an organization.
Importance of cloud computing in the construction industry
Technology is usually associated with some benefits that makes business operation more reliable. The cloud computing technology has come up with its unique benefits that makes construction industry stand out as a unique market in the industrial market. Through use of cloud computing supported by pact of technologies, it is possible for organization to connect all employees (Hassan et al. 2017, p. 28). An organization working in the industry should cater for both employees in the field and those in the offices so that communication is quite efficient. Employees and contractors should be able to communicate, access and update working documents from any place and at any time. Efficient and effective communication saves contractors and all other stakeholders time which results to improved productivity. Similarly, cloud-collaboration between agencies has been one of the essential factors that should be considered because it is very complex and resource intensive. In this regard, having real-time sharing of data and documents from within organization should be extended to other supporting agencies and trading partners. Common collaboration tool makes it easier to share information to all parties at once instead of mailing individuals and back and forth. Important to note is that as organization grows, so does the storage capacity requirements (Habjan & Pucihar 2017, p. 257-258). With cloud computing technology, it is possible to eliminate storage issues because it is quite elastic to accommodate both increase and decrease in space required to store documents. All these aspects in cloud computing are effected without having any impact on either data performance or integrity. Finally, construction industry has been greatly affected by material price fluctuation which can easily be controlled through use of cloud computing technology. In this regard, with desirable technology, organizations are able to budget its operational budget as it can be unpredictable at time.
Cloud computing adoption and acceptance
Initially, there was much resistance on adoption of technology into the construction industry. This was a clear indication that even contractors who are required to approve use of technology in the industry did not it a rule of thumb. There were several reasons that made technology adoption in the field lag behind. However, some of these believe and norms have been waved out by educating people on the need of technology in the industry (Spoorthy, Mamatha & Kumar 2014, p. 309). Over the years, stakeholders in the industry have come to find it useful to implement and use cloud computing. Cloud computing has been able to reduce cost of operations and contractors cannot hesitate to use it because it helps them save resources. A good comparison done between contractor using and those not using cloud technology to manage their project operations. Contractors who have adopted cloud computing have been realizing higher profit turn over because of reduced operations. Over time, many of the organizational activities have been adopting technology and it is a common phenomenon to have construction project being managed over the cloud. Nearly 85% of contractors have moved to cloud based technology with aim of reducing operational costs as well as increase efficiency (Hassan et al. 2017, p. 38). The percentage of contractors using technology to manage construction processes gives a clear indication on the state of technological acceptance. It is quite impressive to have construction industry being regarded as one of the most performing sector as a result of technological adoption.
In order to be able to understand technological adoption in cloud computing, case studies as methods of research system design would be used. Case study provides an opportunity to a researcher to be able to learn from past activities done in similar manner. Case studies would be the most suitable design because one major case study would be chosen with an aim of comparing with other supporting studies (Spoorthy, Mamatha & Kumar 2014, p. 310). The use of case study to evaluate the use and importance of implementing cloud computing helps researcher to understand concepts as presented in real-life. With case studies, it would be possible to compare how different project management has been done with help of cloud technology. One of the case study would focus on aspects that contractors have found useful to implement cloud computing. In this case, it would be possible to address the major beneficiary of cloud technology in construction industry. Definitely, the future of construction industry has been changed by cloud based technology. Project management techniques in construction have changed drastically within short period of technological adoption (Jakimoski 2016, p 56). Currently, all construction processes have moved online and data accesses, sharing and approvals are being done through use of collaboration tools. Through case study, it would be possible to evaluate the rate of cloud based technology adoption, the challenges and opportunities realizable. It is a reliable research design because it presents concepts and facts that cannot be contemplated because they present facts required for decision making.
To make research process a success, data collection methods such as focus groups would be used. Focus groups brings different stakeholders together with aim of coming up with a common solution. In this regard, the solution would be focused on evaluating whether there is possibility of cloud based technology affecting construction industry. From the focus groups, a formal dissuasion can be done to understand the beneficiary of adopting technology in the construction industry (Sharma, Suri & Kumar 2017, p. 48). There is no doubt as focus group is quite reliable because researcher is able to collect firsthand information from respondents. The number of focus group can be as large as possible in order to give divergent opinion. Some of the questions to be posed to participants are; is technology necessary in the construction industry? Where do you see construction industry in next 10 years? Additionally, questionnaire would be prepared and send to several respondents who are not reachable over the other means. It should be able to take different forms such emails, direct mobile calls to specific respondents such as contractors, project owners and employees. Since questionnaire will be focused on more knowledgeable respondents such as contractors, organizational executive and service providers, questions should be clear and straight forward. The diversity applicable in use of questionnaire makes it suitable for the study (Tejaswi, Reddy & Leelavathi 2012, p. 12). It would have questions such as; what do you believe is the rate of cloud technology adoption in the construction industry? As a specialist in the industry, do you support cloud computing technology adoption in the industry? Is the cloud computing technology of benefit to you or the other parties?
Further, interviews would be conducted in a more general manner in order to diversify the study. Interviews would be suitable to project owners and employees as it would seek to evaluate the efficiency and use of technology in the industry (Zhang et al. 2011, p. 448). It is important to target on technology consumers without any operational skills and understanding. With interviews, respondent would be given opportunities to why cloud based technology is the only option to construction industry? If technology has any impact on cost of houses when purchasing or renting? Whether cloud computing technology should be incorporated in the management of housing facilities? Finally, surveys would be used in the research to determine the rate of technological adoption in the industry. This would mainly target contractors, designers and project owners such as land lords. These respondents should be selected carefully in order to make sure feedback provided by respondent matches the need of study (Chen & Zhang 2014, p. 320). The survey would try to answer some of the questions such as; the rate of cloud computing technology in the construction industry? The efficiency and effectiveness of cloud computing technology? The role state government agencies have played in making cloud computing technology adoption a success? Whether there are returns on technological adoption in the industry to any of the parties?
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