News article

Benefits of moving to cloud services for building managers

Building Automation
28 September 2020

In the first of two blogs about the cloud, Martijn Oprel, Portfolio Manager at Priva, considers how building management can be made easier and more responsive by using the latest services - and thereby unburden its users.

It is now approaching 25 years since the term ‘cloud computing’ was used publicly for the first time. Once largely restricted to specific applications, the concept of managing activities and data via remote centres is now established across the world.

But some old concerns about the cloud still remain despite its recent growth. For example, in the business world, there can be worries about the potentially time-consuming nature of moving operations to the cloud. Customers may also have concerns about long-term management, as well as the security of sensitive data in the cloud.

The fact is, though, that these concerns are without foundation in 2020. Cloud services have attained maturity and the vast majority of their providers now offer support that is second to none. Ongoing updates and regular stress-testing have also delivered formidable levels of security to cloud services, as we shall see in more detail in the second blog.

Perhaps the best advice to anyone who is still unconvinced is to talk to enterprises who have made the move. Overwhelmingly, their response is likely to focus on the flexibility and resource optimisation that the cloud has brought to their teams.

Workers looking at digital screens

Anytime, anywhere, any device

For building managers and owners, the benefits of moving to the cloud fall into three main groups: resource optimisation, ease of management, and access to upgrades and maintenance. Simply put, companies who shift some or all of their IT activities to the cloud can dramatically reduce the cost requirements of having their own storage and processing systems – not to mention the often sizeable rack-rooms they occupy!

Regarding ease of management, this is especially relevant to facility managers. For instance, they can use cloud-based tools to track and store data related to key building systems such as heating, lighting and air quality. The opportunity to access this data remotely means that FMs can adjust settings and improve occupant comfort anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Moving to the cloud also gives FMs access to more powerful processing than would frequently be the case in on-premise systems. As a result, it is possible for more parameters and data fields to be analysed simultaneously – allowing FMs to form a more rounded picture of how a building is performing. In particular, this can lead to the identification of energy wastage and, therefore, further cost savings.

Thirdly, there is the fact that cloud services are much easier to upgrade and maintain. Work with an established partner and they will take control of updates and maintenance, ensuring that you can take advantage of additional features as soon as they become available. The leading cloud technology vendors are continually looking to streamline workflows and improve efficiency – just one reason why we at Priva use Microsoft’s renowned Azure platform as the basis of all our cloud-based digital services.

The fact that the cloud services sector is now increasingly competitive, with both global players and smaller specialists joining the fray, is also good news. It means that the price of accessing cloud services will continue to fall, while more features will be offered up to customers as vendors look to differentiate themselves.

We’ll look in more detail at the future of cloud services, as well as the latest security innovations, in the second part of this blog.

Article supplied & written by Content Coms

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