The Lowdown on Low-Cost, 
Standalone EDMS in the AEC Industry

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, as a whole, has much to gain from wholesale digital transformation. 

A study found that construction firms were among the least digitised[1], with most projects still developed on paper. In fact, a typical AEC firm might spend 3% of its revenue on printing alone.[2] 

An electronic data management system (EDMS) can tame the flood of reports, memos, tender documents, and floor plans generated by AEC firms. EDMS is an ecosystem of tools that captures, stores and manages documents created within an organisation.

A low-cost EDMS system housed in a standalone server can help an AEC firm manage their entire document lifecycle, and serve a wide range of stakeholders—from architects to project managers to clients. 

EDMS platforms optimised for AEC firms must meet some very specific requirements: 

Robust data connection for remote settings. Construction sites are challenging environments for computer systems: physical data connections are impossible, 4G may be spotty or absent. (At a middling 18Mbps[3], Hong Kong’s average mobile download speed ranks only 57th worldwide.)

Facing these circumstances, AEC firms will benefit from the remote access provided by an onsite EDMS server: it minimises data in transit, lessening in turn the organisation’s dependence on an expensive and intermittent connection to a distant home office server or the cloud. 

Impenetrable security. An estimated 55% of construction firms neglect cybersecurity measures until after a breach occurs.[4] Conscientious AEC firms should take all necessary precautions to avoid joining that number, and that includes securing one’s EDMS as well. 

Secure document management systems can encrypt sensitive documents to prevent unauthorised access. Linux-based OS’s can defend against ransomware threats like WannaCry. And secondary drive backups protect data against hardware failure. 

Space-saving form factor. AEC firms need an onsite EDMS appliance that adapts to a construction environment, where offices have very little room to spare. Cryptobox, for instance, packs in a suite of enterprise-class EDMS features in a case no larger than a carton of A4 papers. 

Digital transformation is the new normal for AEC firms—and they’ll need a partner like FUJIFILM Business Innovation Hong Kong to provide customised EDMS solutions to get them there, from installing a standalone EDMS appliance to implementing a comprehensive enterprise document management suite. 

SMEs and enterprise-level companies alike can count on FUJIFILM Business Innovation Hong Kong to help complete their digital transformation. 

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[1] Agarwal, Rajat. “Imagining Construction's Digital Future.” McKinsey & Company. McKinsey & Company. Accessed September 28, 2019.
[2] Vaughan, Kevin. “Recover 3% of Your Revenue with Wide Format Print Tracking Software.” TAVCO. TAVCO Services, Inc. Accessed September 28, 2019.
[3] “Hong Kong Speedtest Report.” Hong Kong Speedtest Report. Speedtest. Accessed September 28, 2019.
[4] Goodman, Jenn. “Experts to AEC Firms: Stop Ignoring Cybercrime Vulnerabilities.” Construction Dive. Industry Dive, June 5, 2019.