If you think cloud computing sounds too technical, you’re not alone — but it’s something real estate professionals need to know how to use properly to avoid potential disaster.
The cloud, a term for both private and public online networks, is a way for users to store data in an online system. At this year’s Hacker Connect, part of Inman Connect New York 2019, CoreLogic’s Aaron Wepler broke down the basics of using a cloud for your real estate storage needs:
Why the cloud?
As the real estate industry knows all too well, paper is passé — everything from mortgage applications to title documents are now done online. Storing most of your company’s real estate documents online makes for easier retrieval and protection from physical damage or loss.
“It sets you up to have more agility so that your business can run independent of infrastructure,” said Wepler, a senior director of software engineering and technology.
What are my options?
IBM, which has been developing its cloud system since the 1950s, has one of the earliest and most prominent systems for online storage. Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon’s Cloud (AWS) and Microsoft Azure all offer options for storing. According to Wepler, one of the most common misconceptions about the cloud is that everything is public — you can select a system that can only be viewed by people in your company.
How do I protect my data from hackers?
Ever since the cloud system came into prominent usage in the 1980s, many users worried that storing documents online would pose a risk for hackers and security breaches. While cloud providers have made great strides to increase security over the past decade, protecting client data should be a top priority. Steps can include encrypting passwords, storing online keys in a separate place and keeping ultra-sensitive data off the system entirely.
What else does the cloud do?
Along with storage, cloud systems are also used to host various apps. Known as microservices, different sections of a cloud system’s architecture (the code used to build a website) can be divided to offer different services to your consumer. Some real estate-related examples include a housing search function, a stream of the latest listings and pop-ups with agent bios.