Commercial Real Estate (CRE) SaaS and Cloud Based Apps

We want to reduce the number of applications we support internally and the associated overhead/infrastructure costs by pushing more of our enterprise applications to the Cloud.”

This was a commonly heard refrain from CIO’s and Directors of IT for commercial real estate enterprises and across corporate America over the past couple of years and is only expected to increase. In fact, software as a service (SaaS) and Cloud-based application revenue is expected to grow from $13.4 billion in 2011 to $32.2 billion in 2016!1

Amazon and Netflix in the Cloud
Stream Netflix in the Cloud

However, the road ahead may not be entirely without peril. A recent Gigacom article entitled “Netflix is balancing its streaming traffic across Amazon’s cloud” details how the consumer streaming service is now streaming its service across two separate regions of the Amazon Web Services cloud platform to help avoid the rash of recent service outages that have plagued the service … of course all at a none-too-insignificant cost of a truly extreme engineering investment. While Netflix is a consumer service, as the data implies, the exposure in the corporate world is only increasing and the risks are the same.

So, what does this mean for commercial real estate organizations where mission-critical SaaS/Cloud-based applications are relied upon with greater frequency to operate their businesses?

We believe it means that you have to ask some essential questions of your technology partners that help you understand how they deliver on their promise of Service Delivery to you. What component pieces of their application services are truly “in the cloud,” and what might be the associated risks with those? It’s important to know the differences between basic components of a web application, associated service offerings, and which parts may be appropriate to live “in the cloud.”

Building Engines is a SaaS provider of enterprise-class web and mobile Property Management Software. Our application is hosted at a top-tier co-location hosting provider with all of the associated security, redundancy and backup procedures needed for a business-critical application. We have carefully architected our system in a hybrid cloud/metal (hardware at our hosting partner facility) model so that we can offer a high degree of service availability and performance to our customers.  This includes a cloud-based web tier which features dynamic provisioning so that we can respond to increases in traffic, with a “big-iron” data tier for guaranteed QoS (quality of service).

These are some helpful links to help you learn more about the different component of SaaS and cloud offerings, and we are all always available for a conversation to explain our approach to application accessibility and deliverability.

1. Market Trends: Platform as a Service, Worldwide, 2012-2016, 2H12 Update