CRE Software – Cloud-Based vs. Client-Based Solutions

 March 16, 2017

By  Guy Gray

Whether you have an existing CRE property management software solution and are looking to upgrade or you are a first-time user of the tools, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make involves weather to keep your head in the clouds.  Cloud-based software that is.  Modern innovations in cloud-based computing mean that users have more choices than ever before when it comes to how they want to install, access and maintain their CRE property management solutions.  Before you choose your next property management software solution, here are a few pros and cons to both client and cloud based solutions.

Security

From Internet hacking scandals to old-school corporate espionage, data and information privacy has certainly been in the news of late.  It makes complete sense, then, that the safety and security of your important CRE information would be a large concern when choosing which CRE property management platform is best for you.  And if you are assuming that physical software, based on local, in office PC’s are the safer and more secure bet, you may want to think again.  Data stored on a hard drive is just as susceptible to hackers, and always accessible to would-be internal thieves.  An errant mouse click on that funny cat meme or a disgruntled employee with a stick drive both pose inherent risks to your internal server-based data.

While storing sensitive property, portfolio and client information on the web in a cloud drive may seem risky, it turns out that the safety of your information in this scenario depends mostly on your CRE property management partner.  A professional, reliable and experienced CRE property management software partner will use only the latest in data encryption and will work with clients to actively manage and maintain data safety and integrity.  Cloud-based solutions also serve as an extra fire wall against hackers of your company’s internal systems, since data isn’t housed on an accessible in house server.

Accessibility

Safety of your data is important, but even the most secure system only works as well as your ability to access it.  Client-based software solutions work great when you and your team members are all located in a single space.  But in the modern, fast paced world, we know that for Commercial Real Estate professionals, holding still can mean the difference between scoring that great new property or client and losing out on opportunities.

Cloud-based solutions have a natural advantage with their ease of accessibility, wherever you are located.  Instead of hauling around a company laptop, your information can be accessed through a host of devices, including personal computers if appropriate.  Cloud-based solutions definitely help end users unplug, which can turn into big returns in the fast paced world of commercial real estate.

Costs

As numerous musicians, celebrities and entertainers have informed us, it really is all about the Benjamins.  For those of you not up to date on your modern slang, we’re talking costs here.  In the long run CRE property managers that keep unnecessary costs down have greater resources available to put back into investing in their portfolio.  When it comes to downloaded software, the initial cost can be substantial.  In exchange for this onetime fee, property managers and others that utilize client-based solutions will forgo having to pay future licensing fees… in certain situations, that is.

While this scenario may initially seem like a cost savings, breaking down the one time versus monthly or annual fee of a cloud-based solution can show the issue isn’t quite as straightforward.  The one-time purchase of a physical piece of software will often come with limited or no customer support and only critical updates rather than annual, or more frequent, software upgrades.  If a new version of your physical software comes out you will need to come up with either an upgrade fee or, in some instances, buy the program from scratch.  With a cloud-based solution you receive real time updates, as well as full customer support since you are utilizing your software partner’s platform.

The Wrap Up

When push comes to shove, modern innovation in cloud based software is not only a technology industry trend, it also provides a variety of real-world benefits when compared to client-installed solutions.  From overall cost in the long term, to safety and accessibility, cloud-based addresses the concerns and fits the busy lifestyle of today’s modern CRE professional.  If you’d like to hear more about quality cloud-based CRE property management solutions from an experienced and reliable software partner, contact Quarem today for a free consultation and quote to start unplugging and modernizing your commercial real estate portfolio.

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About the author 

Guy Gray

Guy Gray serves as Chief Operating Officer overseeing our technology and client services teams. He is responsible for guiding Quarem application development, networking and security, as well as new client implementations.

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