Cloud computing is a buzzword on the lips of every tech giant at the moment, but the technology’s applicability to other industries is not always immediately apparent. But the fact is that cloud services can help a wide assortment of business types, including real estate. Here are some ways the cloud can work for you.
Image via Flickr by perspec_photo88
Although computers offer the promise of easy access to information from multiple locations, they have historically not always delivered. Swapping information between machines has been cumbersome at best, which is not even accounting for the difficulties of translating files between formats. With cloud services, however, you are buying access to your important data that works on all kinds of systems. Most cloud providers can deliver your data across all your devices, from your work PC to your laptop to your tablet to your smartphone. The ability to get your information whenever you want means an increased flexibility in where and when you and your employees can work.
Reduced IT Equipment Expense
The biggest cost savings is probably the reduced need to purchase IT equipment for your local office. Although computing has certainly been mostly beneficial to business, it carries with it some unpleasantness, like the need to frequently invest in and upgrade your computing capabilities. With a cloud service, however, the onus to acquire the latest tech gear is on the vendor, not the client. You can make do with your existing infrastructure and simply rent the storage and computing power you need from your service provider as you need it. This is especially handy with small and mid-sized businesses like many real estate firms.
Heavy investment in local IT infrastructure carries with it a large amount of liability. There is the cost of repairing or replacing lost or damaged equipment, for one. But there is also a lot of legal liability wrapped up in information storage. While cloud solutions don’t entirely do away with liability for stored information, it does ameliorate it by involving a third party contractor, the cloud service, with securing the data. This in turn allows you to consider how much you need to invest in local IT workers to keep things going.
Big Data... Sort Of
One information trend that is on the upswing in the wake of the cloud revolution is the use of so-called big data. Big data is the collection and study of large amounts of information. Most companies collect information on their customers; in the past, these numbers have been used to generate simple reports and then often simply erased. With larger amounts of storage available for a trivial fee through the cloud, this data can instead be kept. While the data generated by a real estate business is likely not a huge amount in comparison to some data archives, not having to choose between saving data and acquiring expensive physical storage is a welcome change.
Cloud computing and real estate savvy can be a winning combination. Educate yourself on the changes coming today, and you’ll be in an ideal location for the future.