“Cloud Computing” Reduces the Hidden Costs of CRE Reporting

A recent white paper published by ApeSoft highlighted the hidden costs of using manual reporting tools.

Enter “cloud computing” which, according to Gartner Research’s recently completed CIO Report, is a leading technology that will fundamentally change the way organizations gather actionable business intelligence. This new technology leverages the investments in existing information systems; integrates disparate systems into a central source of reliable data; and helps companies avoid large capital investments for replacement systems.

This centralized source of the financial performance information and total real estate related costs become the critical pieces for the CRE professional to identify targets of opportunity for reducing costs and creating value.

The following compares the hidden costs of manual reporting from silo-ed systems with their cloud computing counterpart:

Wasted Effort and Talent – It is time consuming and a waste of talent made worse when senior management takes the time to manually gather and verify input data, construct formulas, build charts, and distribute the final report to colleagues – automating the reporting process and making dashboards available from a central source requires less time and is more reliable.

Delayed Decisions – Creating the “moment in time” spreadsheets can take time and are rapidly out of date. The longer it takes to gather the data and create the report the longer decisions are delayed – a centralized data source can eliminate the hidden cost of lost opportunities and contribute to more timely decisions.

Dependency on the Super-Spreadsheet Expert – Every organization has “super-spreadsheets” and a “super-spreadsheet expert,” that drive decisions across the company. What happens when this expert is out sick or leaves the company? – with a reliable single source for occupancy cost data you no longer need to be held hostage by the “expert.”

Duplication of Effort – It is not uncommon for different groups within an organization to create similar reports – can be eliminated through the deployment of cloud computing.

It’s becoming increasingly clear as the cloud computing trend continues – it will be the “next big thing” in CRE reporting.

What steps is your organization taking to eliminate the hidden costs of manual reporting from disparate systems? Have you considered “cloud computing”?

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2 Responses to “Cloud Computing” Reduces the Hidden Costs of CRE Reporting

  1. John Kyle says:

    Larry – Thanks for blogging about our white paper. We can definitely see some advantages to Excel Automation in the commercial real estate sector. We believe that a lot of companies waste a lot of time and resources manually updating and “tweaking” Excel spreadsheets. But, we also believe that spreadsheets are an integral part of the corporate decision-making system, in or out of the cloud. For this reason, we think that Excel Automation is a critical step, if even a first step, toward improving an organization’s decision-making abilities. Feel free to contact us is you have any questions or comments – usainfo@apesoft.com. Thanks again!

  2. bernie says:

    Larry
    I agree completely with the benefits of integrated reporting that you’ve outlined and I also have extensive knowledge of cloud computing, virtualisation and enterprise platforms for CRE. Some people will say that you don’t need to cloud enable anything to achieve the benefits your talking about. The Cloud is a platform that simply removes physical constraints to the operations of your IT platform and provides a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that enables the types of data mining you describe. You can achieve the OLAP cubes type of data mining in any SOA environment, no cloud needed. Where Cloud adds value is when you hit multiple geographies and IT silos. The real benefit you’re seeking is a low cost integration model so that everything runs in a loosely coupled services environment. Cloud is the key to this as it means you can not only look at data mining but also process integration and even virtualisation of BMS systems and their integration to the enterprise platform. Apesoft is a good product and there are several others out there as well. Using spreadsheets is the norm in real estate because it’s low cost and easy to deploy. The risks of this approach are still not well understood by the industry.

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