Businesses are constantly evolving and so, too, are the technological platforms we use to support our businesses. Planning and implementing a new technology platform can be a costly exercise, so it is important you research your options before committing to a platform.
My goal for this blog is to dispel some of the myths surrounding the cloud and cloud hosted environments, giving you a better understanding of the different technologies available.
Do you have a dedicated server room in your office? If so, then you probably have the traditional network server system many offices use. In essence, a server (or servers) are like a personal computer but on a much larger scale, storing the entirety of a business’s data. Owning a server is not dissimilar to the storage and ownership of your personal car. You buy, store and maintain the vehicle at your own expense, as with a traditional server system.
With the Cloud (see below) on the rise, some people believe server-based technology is becoming outdated, but this is not necessarily the case: servers have plenty of advantages. Having it in your office may give you faster connections and server storage is often deemed the safer option, providing you with the full management and safekeeping of all data. The biggest drawback of a server based system is its limited accessibility, meaning you can usually only access data on the server when you are physically in the office.
Have you bought a car that someone else drives and maintains? A great example of this maybe your kid’s first car: you purchased it, but they drive and maintain it. A hosted server can be thought of in the same way. You or your business purchase office software, which sits on a server in a hosting centre. Choosing a hosted option removes the location of the server and shifts the responsibility and maintenance to your host provider.
Cloud hosting is a great option if you are looking for workplace flexibility as you will have access to you data 24/7 via the internet. If you are looking to host your server seek the assistance of an IT professional to help you determine the most suitable system. It is important you choose a trustworthy and reliable platform to maintain the security of your data.
You’ve most likely heard or read about the Cloud, currently a huge topic of discussion in the business world. Although many of us may imagine it as something white and fluffy, in fact it’s a large-scale server warehouse. These server farms remotely store your data, providing you with access to your business information wherever internet connectivity is present. The Cloud can be thought of as rented server storage, similar to how you may rent a car on holidays. When renting a car you don’t have to worry about maintenance, hardware or upgrades as this is the responsibility of the rental company: so, too, with Cloud providers.
Implementing a Cloud-based system provides you with workplace flexibility, something that is particularly appealing to property managers who are often on the road and working away from their desks. Real estate businesses hold highly sensitive data, so it is important your software provider is reputable, secure and backed by a certified hosting provider such as Microsoft or Amazon.
Which system suits your office best? Take the time to understand the different platforms available to determine which one suits your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alister Maple-Brown is the CEO of leading property management software provider, Rockend. After completing his BA in both Australia and the United States he worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC followed by two years as an analyst, trainer and business development manager in the worldwide sales division at Inktomi, a rapid growth software business in Silicon Valley, California.
Alister has been with Rockend since 2001 and as sales manager grew new business revenues by 40 per cent over the years before moving into the marketing team until 2007. For the following three years he led the product development team before moving to the role of general manager of PropertyTree, Australia’s first cloud based property management solution. In mid-2012 Alister became CEO of Rockend.
Alister is dedicated to the development of innovative technology which will become even more central to Rockend’s future progress in the property industry.