CIO Fireside Chat: Exploring How the Cloud Tackles A&E Industry Challenges

January 24, 2023
BSK Associates

During a recent fireside chat, Deltek’s Bret Tushaus, VP Product Management, interviewed Kris Morton, Chief Information Officer at BSK Associates, to explore why this engineering and analytical testing firm moved to Deltek in the Cloud in 2018 and how this move has benefitted their business. This blog recaps their conversation and highlights the impact of moving from on-premises to the cloud with tips for architecture and engineering (A&E) firms looking to do the same.

What are your favorite aspects of Deltek’s cloud-based solution?

Security, convenience and access. Those were the three main reasons that we moved. We're a small IT team with a large user base. By moving to the cloud, it removed the responsibility of having my team stay up to date with our security and patching. It also allowed access from anywhere.

This certainly helped when Covid-19 hit. With our team now working remotely, our staff could access the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from home without needing to access a VPN. This was a huge advantage and improved our ability to help our users work remotely instead of having a hundred people on VPN trying to connect into the system.


“Ransomware attacks grew by more than 40% during the pandemic and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms are more than twice as likely to suffer ransomware attacks than all other industries analyzed.”

2021 Egnyte Study


How does Deltek in the Cloud keep your data safe?

With a cloud-based solution, we moved our data outside of our network into a secure cloud that Deltek provides. As much as I like to think I am good at security in my role, Deltek has additional resources that can focus more on securing and protecting my data from attacks than I can. This reduces the likelihood of a ransomware attack and the Deltek team takes care of our disaster recovery if something terrible happens.

You moved from your existing solution to Deltek Vantagepoint in the Cloud for your ERP solution in March of 2022. Can you tell how this move has impacted your firm?

Moving to Deltek Vantagepoint in the Cloud was a no brainer for us. We now have less back-end work as well as access via any device or browser. Vantagepoint has changed how our firm manages projects with its modern features and functionality. We have seen improvements in the quality and detail of our project setups, in particular the details of contract management, and have reduced timesheet and billing errors through the implementation of labor code filtering on our timecards. We now have enhanced dashboards and greater insight into our projects. Vantagepoint also allows us to apply even greater levels of process automation by improving workflows.

 In addition, our IT team doesn’t have to spend time to make sure our ERP solution is safe and up to date now that we are in the cloud. We let Deltek take on the work of updating servers and there’s less hardware to maintain and overhead costs. We are using that time savings to automate processes and improve workflows.

As an added benefit, we are saving tens of thousands of dollars in hardware that we can't even get our hands on right now due to distribution challenges – and we are becoming more profitable since we don’t have to supply the hardware to keep the business moving.


Deltek Vantagepoint in Cloud

Learn About the Benefits in this CIO Fireside Chat

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What general advice would you give to other A&E industry leaders who are considering moving their ERP to the cloud?

My advice to them is to evaluate why you feel so comfortable with your ERP on-premises. Cloud-first is the trend of IT and technology, not on-prem first. Most software offerings are moving to the cloud, so ask yourself why are you resistant to that trend?

I think a lot of people feel like they can keep their data more secure on-premises because it's theirs. They have the “castle mentality” that if I have everything inside of my castle, I can keep it safe.

I think Covid-19 broke our castle when we started going outside of our networks. We started exploring ideas like zero trust and going to the cloud, which makes sense when you think about it from a larger perspective.  Being able to access your data from multiple devices from any location is the way the world works today.

In closing, what are the top three things firms contemplating moving from ground to cloud should think about?

Security and patching, cost and access. Regarding security and patching, think about how often you are doing it? Are you doing it the way you're supposed to? If not, then give it to somebody else.

For costs, how much are your servers, licensing and resources? And how much additional cost are you bringing in by keeping it on-premises and not moving to a SaaS solution?

For access, think about how much better it would be to allow people to access the ERP system outside of “their castle” and allow them to access the ERP data in the ways that you aren’t, or can’t right now without additional software overhead.

BSK is a mobile workforce now. We have people who want to work from other places and being able to support that with a cloud solution is so much more powerful.

Learn more about BSK's journey from ground to cloud and the considerations before making the move in this on-demand webinar, CIO Fireside Chat: Explore How the Cloud Tackles A&E Industry Challenges.


About BSK Associates

BSK Associates (BSK) provides consulting engineering and analytical testing for clients with projects ranging in size from small to complex, in both natural and built environments. In today’s demanding marketplace, BSK delivers exceptional value using a very simple, yet effective formula: excellence, expertise and integrity.