Oct 26, 2011

Cloud Computing - The Killer App For Corporate Real Estate

By Don Catalano


CRE_Cloud_ComputingWe've all experienced the frustration of being in one location only to realize a key file that we need is sitting on a computer that we don't have immediate access to.  Then someone introduces you to the sublimely simple DropBox application.  With it you are able to effortlessly store your key documents both on your local computer and somewhere out there in the “Clouds.”  Then, much to your pleasant amazement, you can access your key files from any computer and even your favorite tablet or smart phone.

Wow, this changes everything!  Well, almost everything - what about all those lease abstracts, site plans, leases, floor plans, lease amendments, spreadsheets - all those pesky documents that become the foundation of your corporate real estate existence.  Those documents are locked very safely in your fireproof safes at the office.

Well you could always call your admin and asked them to dig out the documents, scan them and send you a PDF.  Of course that's not quite the same thing as having it when you need it, right at your fingertips.  And what if you want to work on something at 8 o'clock at night.  No luck getting the file then.  You hope it’s stored digitally and can access it through your VPN, but wait, you’re hotel’s Wi-Fi is giving your VPN fits. 

So once you've tried an application like DropBox, and with their free 2 GB offer, who can resist trying it (they're so devilishly clever and offer you these free 2 GB to get you started) you are forever tainted in thinking that maybe, just maybe this is the way things ought to work all the time.

Of course, you'll probably get the same pushback from the MIS department that you did when you requested an iPhone instead of a blackberry, or that zany idea you had for an iPad.  Heck you’re building muscle as you lug that company laptop along with your overnight bag through the caverns of the many airports you pass through.

But fear not, the times are a changing.  Cloud computing is coming to corporate real estate as the “Faster, Better and Cheaper” solution that will outweigh the corporate inertia against change.

DropBox is just the start.  Companies like Apple and Dell don’t want to be left in the dust.  Apple is heavily promoting their “iCloud” and companies like Dell are planning their own.  Already Microsoft is offering Office 360, which is their version of “Cloud Computing.”

This is just one of those things, that once bitten, you will forever be infected with the desire to keep using this technology - naysayers be dammed.  Plus, the geek in the MIS department that said no, is probably playing with DropBox as we speak.

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Topics: Lease Abstraction, Real Estate Software, web based property management, corporate real estate

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Don Catalano