As BIM content management continues its upward trajectory there are many things to consider when implementing a system. You may find yourself asking questions such as, how will my content be hosted? How long does it take to get started and to adopt a BIM content management system? Will it disrupt our current workflow? Although each system is different, we will consider these questions and how each one will affect BIM content management adoption.
How will my BIM content be hosted?
There are several different ways BIM content can be hosted, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. We will quickly cover a few common ways BIM content can be hosted and what the pros and cons of using each method entails.
Local Drive Storage
The tried and true method for storing content has been around since almost the beginning of time. Although storing locally has some advantages it’s starting to fall behind in the file storage race.
Pros of Local Storage:
Storing data on a local hard drive or server is faster than uploading to the cloud and there is no need for an internet connection.
Hosting locally gives you full control of your backups, giving you better control of who accesses your data. If your drives are disconnected from the network, your data is safe from outside attacks.
•Cons of Local Storage:
1.Storage Limitations and Upgrading
As your files and data grow, upgrading your hard drives will be required. This can be a costly and difficult process.
Using local drives requires backup in case of either an on-site disaster or inevitable hard drive failure. Off-site backup is smart but each time your data needs updating, your off-site backups need updating as well. This can be a hassle and time-consuming.
Storing files locally means you only have access locally. If you are traveling or in a business meeting off-site, your files are not accessible without physically bringing them with you.
Wide Area Network (WANs)
If you’re unfamiliar with a WAN, it is basically a computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs). WAN’s have been around for quite some time with roots back to the 1970’s.
•Pros of a WAN:
Unlike with the internet, your data does not have to compete with others for bandwidth. You get continuous, unimpeded access to bandwidth, which allows your business to avoid lags not uncommon to the internet.
2. Privacy and Security
A WAN provides a direct, dedicated connection through which your data can pass. This limits opportunities for others to intercept your data as it is in transit between locations.
•Cons of a WAN:
1. Upfront and Maintenance Costs
Implementing a WAN will require investment in hardware, software, circuit costs, and testing. Once implemented, you will continue to incur certain WAN-specific costs such as managing the hardware, software, and other WAN components.
WANs offer many privacy advantages, but all networks have vulnerabilities. WANs require specific security measures be added to your IT security capabilities.
The new kid on the block, cloud storage is really taking shape and becoming a very popular choice for many businesses today. There are many reasons to love cloud storage but also a few things to consider.
•Pros of Cloud Storage:
Access your files from anywhere that has an internet connection.
2. Updating and Syncing
When changes are made to a file, it will be synced and updated across all of your devices that are accessible to the cloud.
Cloud security has really come a long way and today is a fully secure and viable option. Cloud security providers go to added lengths to make sure your files don’t get accessed by someone who shouldn’t.
4. No storage limitations
Unlike local drives, cloud storage can grow with your business and there is no need to upgrade hard-drives as your files grow.
5. Data Redundancy and Replication
Most cloud storage providers keep multiple copies of your files to reduce any likelihood of data loss.
•Cons of Cloud Storage:
1. Internet Connection
Cloud based storage is dependent on having an internet connection. If you are on a slow network, or without the internet completely, you may have issues accessing your files.
Getting Started and Adoption of a BIM Content Management System
Deciding on the right BIM content management can be a complicated and stressful decision. It’s important to choose the system that works best for you and your company. Each BIM content management provider will have different ways of hosting your content as well, so weighing those options is critical.
All BIM content management systems will have some form of onboarding and implementation. Whether that be self-paced onboarding through articles, videos, and tutorials, or trainings provided by the BIM content management supplier, learning and adopting a new system will take some time and effort. Just as with choosing the right file hosting format, choosing which the right BIM content management platform can make all the difference.
Fortunately, UNIFI is here to help. Our onboarding process is top notch with qualified professionals who will make the undertaking not just painless, but. enjoyable. We have many self-paced onboarding resources as well to make the process seamless. UNIFI’s support team prioritizes responsiveness to ensure we’re always here to help and combat any roadblocks you may encounter. To get started with the industries leading content and data management solution, don’t hesitate to reach out for a demo today.