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How can the cloud transform your business?

By Liam Crowther, Sales Manager, Rockend

The ‘cloud’ is a term which is frequently thrown around the business and technology space, but many people are still uncertain of what the cloud actually means. Most of us interact with cloud based technologies on a daily basis without even realising! The likes of Facebook, Gmail and Dropbox are all cloud based technologies which many of us use in both a personal and professional setting each day. Cloud based applications and cloud computing have drastically changed business infrastructures and software across the business landscape. So what is the cloud and how can it help your real estate business?

When you’re down at the beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon, absorbing the picturesque view, you want to capture the moment and share it with your loved ones instantaneously. Thanks to social media you can login to your chosen platform, such as Facebook, and upload your picture right then and there. Facebook, like all cloud based technology, is accessible from anywhere at any time via the internet. If you are using a cloud based Property Management software in your business you can access your data from your smart phone, tablet or laptop in the office at home or overseas.

Have you ever been out on the road when you realise you forgot the address of your second inspection for the day? Instead of calling up your office and having a colleague searching through your software to find it, you can simply log on and quickly retrieve the address straight from your phone. The cloud provides real estate businesses with flexibility unlike ever before. No longer are you tied down to your office, you can work freely from anywhere! Implementing cloud based applications into your business allows you and your staff to access the application and its data from anywhere at any time. This flexibility is particularly appealing to property managers who are often on the road and working away from their desks. Work/life balance is always a hot topic, so the increased accessibility makes it easy to grow your business and allows your staff to work remotely.

We are all familiar with the traditional server rooms; cloud technology eliminates the need for servers, server rooms and hard drives. There can be immediate cost savings with cloud based applications as well. Hardware and maintenance costs for servers are eliminated as they are stored remotely and maintained in a secure data centres, so this is no longer consuming space in your office. The maintenance and upkeep of this hardware can be a costly exercise, let alone the cost of hiring an IT professional to assist in upgrading the software and all related maintenance, saving you valuable space and money. Cloud based applications are always upgraded to the latest version by the software provider, meaning you no longer have to buy or update the software application yourself, or pay for an IT professional to assist you. Moving to a cloud based provider can give you immediate cost savings.

How safe is the cloud, will my data be secure? Cloud based applications can provide a secure depository for all data, no matter what happens to the machine you’re accessing it from. Real estate businesses hold highly sensitive data so it is important to ensure your software provider is reputable, secure and backed by a certified hosting provider, such as Microsoft or Amazon. This data can be stored almost indefinitely, eliminating the need for paper records, saving you valuable office space. Due to the nature of cloud storage, data is automatically backed up. This automatic feature saves your office from completing manual daily backups, reduces downtime and ensures that your data is secure.

Due to the flexible nature of the cloud, this software can grow with your business. The development of cloud technologies is far faster than that of traditional technologies. Many cloud softwares have a monthly feature release which provides you with new features and enhancements, helping your business to continually grow.

With technology changing at such a rapid pace it can be hard to keep up, but cloud based software is a long-running trend that is here to stay. With short deployment times, increased accessibility, secure backups and multiple cost saving features, it is definitely worth investigating if a cloud based software solution is appropriate for your business.

 

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