16D — May 12 - 25, 2017 — NJAA Conference & Expo — M id A tlantic
Real Estate Journal
2017 NJAA C onference & E xpo
hen talking about “the cloud,” it is hard to resist us- Multi-CloudStrategy isNext –&aNewGenerationof IndustryProfessionals isLeadingtheCharge Taking the Cloud to a New Level for Commercial Real Estate W
savings. Cloud-based solutions are emerging as the clear win- ner over traditional on-site IT systems, with the potential to transform every aspect of the real estate business – from property management to ac- counting to construction man- agement. Well-designed cloud-based applications, strategically de- ployed, are helping companies shift dollars formerly spent on in-house IT to areas that generate ROI. In addition, applications designed for the industry are assuming rou- tine functions, freeing staff to
focus on the core business and management to focus on new profit-generating initiatives. With so much good news regarding cost-reduction, secu- rity and efficiency, you might wonder why the entire real es- tate industry is not in the cloud or headed there. And youmight also wonder why organizations that are already in the cloud are not going to the next level. They really should be con- necting their cloud-based apps, allowing them to “talk” to each other, thereby delivering a cohe- sive picture of the state of their business. Yet our observation,
based on nearly 40 years in this industry, is that commercial real estate traditionally is not driven by operating efficiency. The driver is the deal. Top management is laser-focused on that ultimate goal, leaving functional decisions to the in- dividual departments. This is what typically hap- pens behind the scenes. The accounting department buys a cloud-based solution. And next door, construction man- agement buys one. Maybe the leasing unit is getting one, too. Silos full of data are sprouting company-wide. Information is
going to various clouds. Indi- vidually, these solutions will do a great job for the depart- ment that bought them. But how about for the company as a whole? What is missing? These function-specific apps are not integrated. Without integrated commu- nication among all these varied information streams, manage- ment gets only isolated slices of the state of the business. Func- tional solutions get traction at the departmental level but, in the end, management misses out on the benefit of being able to make critical decisions based on a single, comprehensive view of information. The prom- ise of efficiency via multi-cloud is simply not being fully real- ized. But things are changing. The real estate technology in- dustry’s mission is to help our clients eliminate those infor- mation silos. For example, Im- periumPowered by Acumatica, IBS’s cloud-based enterprise lease management/accounting solution, seamlessly inter- faces with third-party products across multiple services catego- ries. It feeds information into a multi-cloud environment and makes it available anytime, on any browser in a consolidated form. And this type of solution is gaining ground with a new generation of commercial real estate executives who know that the best deals are the ones based on the best information. The industry’s latest wave of commercial real estate deci- sion-makers understands the limitations imposed by siloed information. As mobile-centric digital natives, they are used to literally carrying their brains in their pockets. They expect their devices to provide the comprehensive data they need to make a deal when and where they need it. Their passion for tech (and what it can do to make a com- mercial real estate business more successful) is spreading across demographic lines. There exists a growing recog- nition that technology, when strategically deployed, is transforming the world, and these rising industry leaders want their corner to be “in on it.” Commercial real estate companies with this manage- ment attitude are our best market and our most satisfied clients. Michael Mullin is presi- dent of Integrated Business Systems in Totowa, NJ . n
i ng weath - e r - r e l a t e d l a n g u a g e . So here we go again. A well-executed multi-cloud strategy can rain savings on a commer-
cial real estate enterprise. But putting that symbolism aside, we continue to see our clients, who use the cloud stra- tegically, achieving significant
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