Cloud or Intranet: which one is right for you?
09 February 2021 — Events
You would like to set up a collaborative platform for your construction project but you are not sure what is the best way to deploy it? Our experts have looked at the key points for you to consider in coming to a decision!
✓ Adhere to your company policy
The first consideration, of course, is whether or not the company policy favours the use of Cloud-based solutions. Whilst trust has been established for the solutions provided by the leading players in the collaborative platform market, some companies – either due to their history or the business sector they operate in – are still reluctant to outsource documentary processes and BIM, and tend to favour Intranet-based solutions.
✓ Factor in the availability of the IT department
The IT department manages a lot of IT projects in addition to the day-to-day running of the company’s IT resources. If you opt for Intranet mode, you need to assess the resources that the IT department will be able to make available, both in terms of budget and the skills required.
In the in-house service level agreement (SLA), you will need to specify, for example, the level of service required for the platform and the procedures that must be implemented to ensure nominal feedback in the event of a problem. Evidently, the expected performance level will also impact the internal billing costs of the platform.
✓ Comply with requirements related to sensitive company data
If you host data that is flagged as “restricted distribution”, “highly confidential” or “defence classified”, then use of an Intranet platform will be necessary. This option must be supplemented by restricted access to the platform. This involves requiring the use of a local connection, connection via VPN off premises or, in the most security-sensitive cases, with Internet access to the platform disconnected altogether.
Helpful hint: Some of our customers choose to compartmentalise information, with an Intranet platform for sensitive information and a Cloud-based platform to facilitate interactions related to any other type of information.
✓ Take the location of the projects into consideration
The location of the project is equally a decisive criterion. Some places may, for example, have a limited Internet connection. In other cases, it may be the local authorities that insist that data concerning projects run in their country cannot be hosted abroad. In these situations, the use of an Intranet platform is the ideal solution to overcome any connection issues with a remote server, whilst also complying with the regulations in force.
✓ Keep an eye on costs
The business models of Cloud-based and Intranet platforms are often different. (type: subscription/licences and maintenance, pricing method: per user, by volume, by project size or a % of the cost of construction work, etc.).
Furthermore, you must remember to incorporate the cost of purchasing (servers, networks, OS and databases, etc.) and operating (IT administrators) the infrastructure needed to host the collaborative platform in the Intranet implementation budget.
✓ Consider the implementation lead-time
Lastly, the level of urgency in starting your project must also be taken into account. A Cloud-based roll-out is a lot quicker to put in place because the infrastructure already exists. For an Intranet-based solution, procurement and installation of the machines and configuration of the infrastructure may have a significant impact on the implementation lead-time for the platform – adding weeks, or even months, to the schedule.