Our previous blog article looked at Microsoft's recent Windows 365 Cloud PC offering. I even suggested your current physical PC might be the last you will need to buy. Now it is time to consider what Windows 365 Cloud PC might specifically mean for the construction industry.
In our last article, we talked about the features of Windows 365 Cloud PC. In short, Windows 365 Cloud PC lets you securely stream your Windows experience—including your personalized apps, content, and settings—from the Microsoft cloud to any device. Like every other business, how construction companies respond to Windows 365 Cloud PC comes down to time and money. Below are the pros and cons to consider.
Windows 365 Cloud PC advantages for construction companies
The Windows 365 Cloud PC could save construction organizations considerable costs and dramatically improve efficiency in many ways.
Bring your own device (BYOD). Adopting Cloud PC will lower costs as organizations no longer need to buy hardware for their employees, reducing capital expenditure programs and refresh schemes as the service becomes an operational cost. The new model could be organizations providing employees with a set IT allowance which will help improve company cash flow.
IT support reductions. Organizations would not need as much technical support, significantly reducing IT headcount and the headaches of troubleshooting one-off PC issues.
Remote access. Employees can access their PC and applications from any device, anywhere. This level of flexibility is critical for construction team members who need access both in the office and field using various form factor devices.
Always secure. The Cloud PC is always secure with the latest updates removing the risks inherent in having physical PCs "out in the wild." Always-up-to-date Cloud PCs take the burden off team members having to make sure their device is up to date on patches and updates.
Standard PC builds. Cloud PCs with standardized builds can be released quickly, ensuring no software issues between team members. Organizations can push a common set of always-up-to-date applications to users, removing any issues with versions and compatibility. A Cloud PC can also help prevent users from installing unapproved software
Real-time onboarding and offboarding – Organizations could onboard a person in minutes without having to ship a new PC with a custom build. If the person leaves the organization, the Windows 365 Cloud PC can be disabled in seconds, and the license reclaimed or eliminated. Since construction teams are dynamic and can include third-party contractors, team members can hit the ground running on day one.
Disadvantages of Windows 365 Cloud PC construction companies should consider
Windows 365 Cloud PC probably sounds excellent so far. What's the catch? There are a few potential downsides that construction organizations should consider before deploying Cloud PC technology.
It's a subscription service. While the starting costs are relatively low, they will grow just like your cable bill. And there are different subscription levels based on the PC RAM and storage, potentially making it less attractive to those using high processing applications like BIM, CAD, and other graphics demanding applications.
Offline access. Offline access is not currently available, and at a minimum, you must have an internet connection capable of at least streaming a video to use Windows 365. Future iterations of the Cloud PC will likely look to include this capability. However, the performance of a Cloud PC probably is not going to be to the level you would expect of a version of Windows installed on your local computer.
The mercy of Microsoft. Updates, fixes, and patches are now in the hands of Microsoft, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your experience with their support.
Ownership. You no longer own the assets. If you don't pay your Microsoft bill, you lose your access.
The Windows 365 Cloud PC will be a game-changer across every industry. The Cloud PC could revolutionize data accessibility for construction both in the office and the field. As subscription services have become the standard business model for all services these days, the Cloud PC seems like the next inevitable step.
Do more with Microsoft 365 and Windows 365
Microsoft provides a robust lineup of powerful productivity tools that go way beyond Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Lydon Solutions can help your organization get the most out of Microsoft 365 and Windows 365 by optimizing them for construction teams. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how Lydon Solutions can help your organization better use Microsoft 365 and Windows 365 for construction project management.