Cloud-based applications can offer your property management company numerous user and cost benefits such as streamlined business operations, ease of collaboration and more efficient application development. However, choosing the wrong vendor can have unforeseen consequences. When choosing a technology provider it is important to consider these five questions in order to avoid the most common pitfalls of adopting cloud-based technology:
How much control will you have over your data and software services?
Your software vendor should offer you protection and the ability to own your software and data and run it from anywhere. In many cases, software providers have a tendency to stockpile data, making it incredibly difficult for a property management company to access and utilize their data. Make sure your vendor allows you unlimited access to all of your data regardless of the circumstance.
What will it take to integrate?
Many property management software companies will pile on the fees and charges for integrations to discourage you from using competing products and services. Find a software company that allows you to build your own, custom suite according to your company’s unique needs. Don’t let one provider bully you into using their inferior products or keep you from using your current system because they lack the ability to support the integrations you need. When choosing a provider, find out exactly what level of customizability your provider will allow you to have and how much it will cost you to modify it to fit your needs before you sign on the dotted line.
How secure is the platform?
Security has long been a concern for many executives looking into cloud-based software. And for a good reason, your data is being stored outside the comfort of your company’s firewall. Make sure your providers offer adequate security controls around your data, including role-based permissions ensuring that only the proper people have access to those databases. In addition, your vendors should be able to demonstrate that they’re following industry best practice security standards at any time.
Who will be there to help if problems arise?
Adequate training and responsive customer service can make all the difference in your experience with your software. While training is a must, it shouldn’t take an army of engineers and a vat of painkillers to train new staff on software systems. First of all, there are property management interfaces out there that are user friendly and intuitive. Choose a technology that provides a holistic, streamlined experience that caters to users of all skill levels. When you do have questions, you should be able to find answers without having your handset fused to your ear and being transferred back and forth across 5 different customer service representatives.
Will your provider be able to innovate and meet your needs as your company grows?
When was the last time your software provider asked you about your needs? How often do they seek new ideas from you — the user? Your technology provider should regularly be championing new ideas, pursuing new technology and consistently investing in you. If not, your system may be out of date before you know it. Choose a provider that will innovate as you grow, and you only have to choose a technology provider once.