Digital Transformation: Moving CRE development into the cloud

For the past several years, cloud computing has revolutionized how businesses handle everything — from security and efficiency, to costs and data analytics, and more. In fact, executives across all industries, sizes and geographic locations are recognizing the many advantages of cloud computing for businesses, and Commercial Real Estate (CRE) development is no exception.

Resistance to change is to be expected, especially where new technology is concerned, and it wasn’t too long ago that many still considered cloud computing something to fear. Industries experienced trepidation in shifting to the cloud, concerned that the move would disrupt businesses beyond recovery, compromising security and yielding insufficient ROI. History has certainly disproven these fears, while we’ve simultaneously seen our own lives transformed by the cloud in a very tactile way: through our constant use of smartphones.

Cloud is here to stay

Cloud computing is no longer taboo. It’s real and thriving, and it will serve a major role in digital transformation in the coming years and beyond. Key benefits offered by cloud platforms include lowering costs, increasing efficiency while simultaneously yielding considerable opportunities for data analytics.

When it comes to cloud-computing solutions, it’s vital that you do your homework. Be sure that proper security and backup measures are in place to protect your data, as malware infections can often be tracked to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.


Data analytics is crucial

A recent EY and CRETech survey named data analytics software as the single most important technology for CRE companies. Predictive data analytics guide investment decisions by leveraging automation to forecast costs, income and asset performance to drive improved returns. Since the pandemic, real estate companies are increasingly using data and analytics technology to respond to rapid market changes while simultaneously assessing new opportunities and risk.


Four benefits of the cloud

If your organization hasn’t yet tapped into the cloud, here are four benefits worth considering:

1) Improve cost efficiency

Cloud computing means businesses no longer have to purchase equipment to build out and operate data centers. This reduces the need for additional on-site servers, software and staff, while saving on facilities, utilities, hardware and other expenses associated with traditional computing.

2) Eliminate silos

Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing solutions enable geographically distributed teams to collaborate more easily and efficiently. Staff can get real-time information, see what the rest of the team is up to, and interact effectively. This level of collaboration can help you complete tasks faster and provide better customer service.

3) Work from anywhere

One of the benefits of cloud computing for businesses is the ability for team members to work from any location. This is especially important in an era when employees want their schedules and work environments to be flexible. Businesses that use the cloud can give their employees the ability to work from their desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, either on the go or at home.

4) Improve disaster recovery

One of the major advantages of cloud computing is that it aids disaster recovery efforts. Natural and man-made disasters can cause equipment damage, power outages, and the loss of vital IT activities. In the event of a disaster, keeping records in the cloud is a prudent precaution.


Project budgeting software

In the CRE industry, developers are very dependent on project budgeting software, and this has increased through the pandemic. The best solutions in this space grow in lockstep with tech, and should give the project perspective as much attention as the financial perspective. A state-of-the-art solution allows the software modules or functionality to be project aware, with each module providing the necessary project perspective to complement the general ledger perspective.


Nearly all job-costing software emphasizes the subcontractor or general contractor perspective where the detail level drives the reporting. But success in the developer market comes from its ability to go beyond the details and show management top-level project status and the various detail levels that support it. The software solution must address the complete life cycle of a real estate asset: from project inception to project completion, and from pre-development to property management, in order to minimize budget debt and maximize profit, efficiency and client satisfaction.


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