The interaction between Cloud Services and Proptech
In the real estate industry, the use of cloud-based technology has only recently been welcomed. As recently as 2014, the thought of using the cloud to conduct business in the real estate industry was not considered or investigated as an option. The infusion of technology into the real estate industry, to become what we know today as Proptech, has become very profitable. As I noted in my previous article, as of 2017 the Global Proptech Industry was valued at US$7.8 billion.
Cloud computing has a defined structure and systems that need to be adhered to and work together in order for the computing ecosystem to function correctly. These systems are: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service
Just as you need to buy an empty piece of land that you can build a house on so do you need to have somewhere that your IT requirements, for your company, can be housed. This “somewhere” – in terms of IT - is called a server.
In the IaaS – or Infrastructure as a Service - model, companies dispense with physical servers and rent server space from IaaS service providers. If the company were to require additional server space, they would merely put in this request to their IaaS service provider who would make the increase on their behalf. Using this hosting model allows organisations to have an scalable and future proofed infrastructure. Well-known examples of IaaS are Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Linode and RackSpace.
Platform as a Service
To carry on with the property example, once you have acquired your land to build your structure on you will need to start with your construction. The first step in building your house it to lay a good foundation which will stabilise the structure.
This foundation, in terms of IT, is called a platform. It is an environment that software developers can use to develop their own creative applications. A fee will be paid to the PaaS provider – on a frequent basis – to enable them to have continued access to this environment which goes towards ensuring that the platform remains optimal for the developer.
The Proptech Industry boasts many examples of PaaS. Many companies are making use of blockchain technology as a platform on which to build apps for the real estate market. An example is NOON Capital which seeks to redefine how properties are designed, managed and financed in emerging markets. It is built using blockchain as a basis. Others include: Atlant, Enertiv,Flip, Foyr and hOM.
Software as a Service
With SaaS – or Software as a Service – software providers make software available to you, online, and charge you a licence fee depending on how many users you would like to make use of the software. As there are no extra costs, such as packaging, printing, etc., the software can be distributed at a much more affordable rate.
SAP Cloud for Real Estate is a SaaS solution which gives the user the capability to manage - and gain real-time insights into - their real estate assets. It is powered by SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA.
Another example of such software in action in the Proptech Industry is EyeSpy360. With this, you are able to take a virtual tour of the property that you are interested in purchasing when it’s convenient for you. This software offers key individuals in the transaction the ability to streamline the transaction and so speed up the time it takes to go to market which ultimately leaves more selling time.
The notion of cloud computing in the real estate sector offers distinct business value to organisations in terms of cost savings and increased efficiencies. With the rate at which technology is developing, it is exciting to see what new developments 2019 has for the Proptech Industry.