Today’s property market is getting increasingly more competitive. To stay ahead in the game, you need flexible IT solutions that will fit around you. Providing access to enterprise-level informational tools that may otherwise be out of reach, the hosted desktop brings together all your processes and data. As such, in a bid to get ahead, many estate agents are turning to hosted desktops to strengthen their lead in the marketplace.
In this short guide, we’ll highlight the benefits a hosted desktop solution can deliver to your business; helping you to manage your data better and capitalise on the power of the cloud.
What is a hosted desktop?
From your employees’ point of view, a hosted (or virtual) desktop works just like a standard Microsoft Windows desktop. So, recruiters and support staff turn on their computers, laptops, iPads, etc. and access all the files and programs they need. The main difference is, rather than being stored on a server, everything is kept at a secure data centre and delivered over the internet. This means users can access their files, apps and software from any device, even if they aren’t in the office.
So, while a hosted desktop uses the cloud, this doesn’t mean that your valuable business data is just floating around in cyberspace!
With the hosted desktop, the maintenance of your IT system is done remotely by your provider. This helps to reduce reliance on IT support staff. Likewise, all the latest software fixes and security updates are made automatically.
What software can you run on a hosted desktop?
Basically, anything your business needs. This includes Microsoft Office, financial software, and document management applications.
How will a hosted desktop help your estate agency business?
As well as lowering the cost of provision, hosted desktops deliver increased flexibility, scalability, productivity, efficiency, and resilience. So it’s no wonder that property businesses are using them to solve their growing business challenges.
Keep costs down
Traditional property agent services need rationalising, and costs need reducing. With the latest cloud technology and Desktop as a Service (DaaS), you will benefit from the very latest technology, for one affordable monthly subscription. Without any additional investment or expensive running costs.
As a property agent, you are always on the move, and you need instant access to a wide range of information such as price sheets and schedules. With the hosted desktop you get access to all your data 24/7, from any internet-enabled device. So whether you’re attending a property viewing, meeting a prospective vendor or checking your diary in the office, you get everything you need as and when you need it.
Stay ahead of the curve
Technology is changing the property market, with online agents taking a bigger percentage of the lettings and sales industry month on month. In the face of digital transformation, savvy agents are already moving to the cloud in a bid to capitalise on unique and innovative features, designed to benefit your business. By bringing together processes and data, the hosted desktop delivers enhanced management information. This can lead to more informed decision making, and even create opportunities for new revenue streams.
Keep your data as safe as houses
Estate agents can be wary of putting sensitive or business-critical data into the cloud. However, criminals don’t target data because it is cloud-based – it’s the data they want, regardless of where it is stored. In fact, more security breaches occur with on-premise solutions than cloud ones, and 56% of IT managers cite improved security as a primary motivation for moving to the cloud.
However, you deal with lots of confidential information, from financial details to legal information, and this needs to stay safe. So, when appointing a hosted desktop partner, be sure they provide:
ISO accredited data centres
ISO27001 certified data centres comply with an internationally recognised best practice framework. This ensures you are working with a trustworthy provider committed to safeguarding your data.
Real-time backups & replication
Make sure your files are duplicated and backed up regularly. So if a failure occurs, it’s never a problem.
Firewalls are necessary to reduce the likelihood of hackers and viruses reaching your business over the internet. However, the same level of technology you rely on at home isn’t enough to protect your valuable and sensitive business information. Look out for cloud server services that are equipped with enterprise level Juniper Firewalls.
UK-based data centres
The location of data centres has become increasingly important, with many UK businesses looking to switch to centres located in the UK.
As businesses become more aware of their obligations with regard to the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s vital to ensure that your hosted desktop partner meets established security levels, has stringent processes for dealing with information, best-in-class service level agreements, and sound backup and retrieval procedures.
Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
With best-of-breed 2FA plus policy control, you’ll benefit from an extra layer of security to protect your all-important data
At Cloud Geeni we make security a key priority. This means that everything is stored in high-security data centres, with robust encryption and all the latest security updates continually protecting your system.
Things to consider
Before you dive in, here are just some of the things estate agents must consider before switching to the cloud.
Can the hosted desktop solution scale up and down with your business?
It should be easy to upgrade or add new software, so you can scale up (or down) as needed. Setting up new accounts for new staff and ordering more storage space or applications should also be possible in a matter of minutes.
How much downtime is likely?
Service differs from provider to provider. At Cloud Geeni we provide 99.9% uptime for all cloud services, so you experience little to no downtime.
How quickly can you access your data?
With automated backup services and best-in-class recovery processes, the right hosted desktop solution will keep your data robust, safe, and secure. They also provide improved access to data from any networked device; ensuring everyone in your firm can retrieve all the real-time information they need. However, with varying cloud partners offering different levels of service, be sure you check the following before you sign any agreement:
- Does your firm maintain full ownership of the information?
- How quickly can this information be handed over on demand?
- What backup processes are in place?
- What level of downtime can you expect?
- What processes are in place should a more severe outage occur?
Is your hosted desktop managed?
With a managed approach, IT specialists are watching your system all the time, making sure it’s running smoothly and quickly. Managed desktop services also boast best-in-class backup and recovery processes. So you can be sure that your data is recoverable should something go wrong.
How can you ensure a solution that is right for your estate agent business?
Look out for acclaimed MCSE certification and access to the complete Microsoft suite of products. This will ensure the skills needed to build efficient cloud solutions using Microsoft technology.
How easy is it to get up and running?
To make sure there isn’t any negative impact on your business operations, appoint a partner that will look after your migration from start to finish. Your new cloud system will run parallel to your legacy one until the process is complete, and you only move when you have tested your new solution and confirmed you are happy.
A partner your estate agency can trust
Understanding the IT challenges faced by property agents, at Cloud Geeni, our commercially astute team delivers sophisticated cloud solutions that keep you profitable and compliant.
Our cloud server services consistently achieve the highest level of data security and reliability, maximising safety and eliminating downtime. In fact, all our cloud server data centres are:
- Situated in the UK
- Compliant with regulatory guidelines
- ISO27001 approved
- Security managed 24/7
- Fitted with fire detection systems.
- Kept at the optimum temperatures to ensure they do not overheat.
- Supported by backup power supplies
- Fitted with the highest security firewalls.
- Carrier neutral, ensuring connectivity access across all major networks.
With unrivalled and innovative features designed to benefit your business, BOOK A FREE DEMO and find out how Cloud Geeni can help you to work smarter.