“Without using a cloud-based service software, your business is fighting the competition with one hand tied behind its back. There’s no way around it.”
We recently shared a list of the top criteria to look for in a field service management (FSM) solution. One key criteria was the need to make sure you choose a cloud based service software. The “cloud” has been a hot button keyword across every industry over the past decade, with more and more businesses moving to it all the time. However, despite the fact that it’s been proven to bring companies up to 53% faster revenue growth than their competitors, a large number of businesses continue to put it off.
With COVID-19 dramatically changing the way we do work, the value of cloud-based technology became more evident than ever. Contractors hosting their data without it found themselves struggling to make the transition to remote work. And even outside of these crisis-driven times, not taking advantage of the cloud has its consequences.
We’re here to clear up any confusion around what the cloud actually is and why it’s imperative for commercial contractors to get on board with it.
What IS Cloud Based Service Software?
The ever elusive cloud really just refers to a network of servers, along with the software and databases running on them, that are accessed over the internet. Cloud servers are located all over the world, and they’re what allow companies to manage their data in one place without relying on their own servers to do so.
If you’ve ever accessed your email or social media accounts from two different devices, you would’ve seen the same content regardless of the device. This is the cloud at work in your everyday life, and it has powerful applications for your field service business. From increasing internal efficiencies to providing a better customer experience, keep reading for 5 reasons to make the switch.
Never Miss a Beat (Even When the World Goes Into Lockdown)
Abrupt circumstances like those brought on by COVID-19 can unexpectedly tear employees from the office at the drop of a hat. Or let’s say a hurricane, tornado, or lousy microwave fire destroys your HQ and all the materials in it. Having all your data in the cloud is the ultimate defense against stalled business. It allows you to keep pressing on, work from wherever you are, and stay connected on the move.
Even when your employees are scattered all around, operating from a variety of devices, there’s no disruption to their work because all the necessary info and real-time notifications are constantly at their fingertips. If you don’t want to run the risk of permanently losing your valuable data for one reason or another, the key is not to tie it to your local office hardware—let the cloud handle that.
All the Storage You Need
Leveraging the cloud gives you the luxury of significantly more storage space than you’re likely to have by hosting on your own servers. Some platforms, including BuildOps, will even provide unlimited storage space. Too many contractors find themselves going through old records to see what they can dispose of or limiting techs’ ability to visually document their work because the data takes up too much room. The cloud mitigates that problem, not only making the space available, but also simplifying the process of accessing that data later on.
Even if you start with limited storage and eventually need more, adding that onto the cloud is an instant, cost-effective process compared to undergoing a demanding update to your own IT infrastructure. By eliminating the storage obstacle alone, you’re already improving the freedom and flexibility of your workforce to do their jobs most efficiently.
Eliminate Traditional IT Headaches & Overhead
Relieving yourself of the responsibilities that come with hosting your own data means significantly more time to dedicate to the business itself. When it’s time to update your software, you don’t have to do anything because it already updated automatically in the cloud. Not only that, but the update also applied to all your employees’ devices—no time out or additional expenses required.
Self-regulation also means that the platform doesn’t require you to bring in specialized developers or administrators to constantly maintain it. After all, the whole reason for investing in this technology in the first place is to make your job easier while improving your business. The technology shouldn’t cause more headaches than it cures.
Run an Organized Organization
Even when operating business as usual, you have technicians in the field, dispatchers in the office, and managers in the warehouse. Not to mention all the customers and site contacts that might be on site, but could likely be anywhere. Not only do all these moving parts require access to the right data at the right time, but they also need to count on that data being accurate.
In a cloud-based system, all data is stored in one place and accessed from that same place, regardless of the device in hand. When a technician enters a parts order on his cell phone, you can count on that order getting to the warehouse manager to fulfill it. When a customer makes it clear you’re to contact Tim and not Jim, that information is front and center for every person touching that job.
Without the cloud, your team is only seeing information in their own silos, leaving too much room for human error, ambiguous records, and different versions of documentation. With the cloud, you’ve got accurate data, which leads to insightful reporting, which leads to intentional actions to improve your business.
Cloud-Based Service Software Provides Better Data Security
Conventional in-house IT demands a whole suite of maintenance responsibilities, security being only one. On the other hand, it’s the cloud host’s full-time job. All transmitted data is automatically encrypted to protect it from hackers and anyone else unauthorized to access it. This reason alone has been cause for companies of all kinds to move their data: RapidScale reports that 94% of businesses saw improvement in security after making the switch to cloud-based systems.
They also note that 91% of companies reported the cloud enabling them to more easily meet government compliance standards. Compliance is nothing new to contractors, and between the security and the ability to customize every user’s access, the cloud should be a no-brainer.
If you’re not on the cloud, you’re not alone (yet). But just as FSM platforms became standard for running a profitable contracting business, having that solution in the cloud is quickly becoming the new standard.
Amid all the chaos 2020 has brought, contractors on the cloud have experienced a much smoother transition to the new normal. To learn more about BuildOps’ cloud-based solution and how it can benefit your own business, click here to schedule a personalized demo today.