8 Reasons Why the Cloud Makes Appraising Better

by | Jul 12, 2018 | Appraisal articles, Software

It is natural that since we provide software for appraisers that is hosted in the cloud that we think cloud computing is pretty darn cool. And Anow is not alone this regard, the most common software in the world is now found in the cloud (think Microsoft Office Suite), and yet, there is still some confusion over why you want your software in the cloud.

Here is why we think Anow, as cloud-based software, is the best decision for the modern appraisal firm:

1. Faster and cheaper implementation
Traditional software requires on-premise deployments, and normally very specific user devices (like a laptop) which means that an organization has to invest significant capital expenditure into hardware. If the software requires a server for sharing of data and resources as well, this often means the expertise to maintain it.
In contrast, Anow provides your office appraisal software on cloud hosts like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. These are run huge data centers with servers always ready to go, guaranteed availability and bank-level security — they’re effectively giving users access on-demand versus installing software on a network in the office.
The result is an implementation that is fast, easy, and best of all, cheap. Simply register for a free trial and you are ready to go.

2. More secure physical environment
There’re a lot of security concerns around cloud hosting. In fact, it remains a primary concern for most businesses. But one thing is for sure — even for large organizations, meeting the security standards offered by major data center’s is next to impossible. As standard practice, data centers have:
• 24/7 surveillance, an ID-controlled gate, and posted security guards
• Carefully controlled access to servers
• Tiered security settings, with only the top tier actually getting into where the servers are.
In comparison, it is not rare to find a busy appraisal firm with their servers in a corner or under the watch of the office manager, and backups on a USB drive. Please don’t do that! Your appraisal history is far more secure in the cloud than in your pocket on a USB stick.

3. Easier to scale
As your appraisal office grows, you need to be able to increase computing power in order to handle more and more users on the network.
Anow does this instantly. Our cloud service has elastic server structures so that their clients can increase their bandwidth instantly. What’s more, data centers are constantly spinning up new servers so there’s never a lag between what we need for our customer demands and our cloud host providing it.
In contrast, spinning up new servers for either an enterprise or an SMB is both time-consuming and difficult, and it requires further capital outlay that some organizations might not have on-hand.

4. Better hardware in the long-term
When businesses build their own servers, and host their own programs they’ll invest in new technology at the same time. But when it comes to upgrading, they’ll usually find that they struggle to get buy-in when their existing hardware is functional, just not optimal.
Anow, software as a service, focuses on your experience and always being optimized. We count on the cloud to scale to meet the demand. You never need to think about “just getting by”.

5. Anow in the cloud facilitates collaboration
Local networks are great — if you’re local. But as you grow your team, open office in new regions or have your business increase in size and complexity, appraisal data and system need to be available where your team is working. Local networking solutions are no longer viable, and the deeper organizations invest in them, the deeper those problems go. Inevitably, users resort to email and attachments, and just as inevitably, files, naming conventions, and versions get out of whack.
Anow means that users can access the same source of truth, at the same time, from anywhere. Collaboration becomes the default, not the exception.

6. Automatic software updates
Just as the cloud makes collaboration easy, it also makes software updates easy.
Anow has updated our software with new features, bug bashes, updates and enhancements more than 300 times so far this year. 300 hundred changes and improvements! Can you imagine how annoying that would be to update your laptop 300 times?

7. Specialization
Specialization is good. When everyone focuses on their core competency, you generally get better results overall:
• Appraisal Firms can do what they’re good at — Appraising
• Cloud hosts do what they’re good at — building and managing the infrastructure
• Cloud software like Anow does what they’re good at — building, developing, and improving the software you need to run your appraisal firm.
Everyone can focus on what they’re good at and let other people handle the things that they’re not.

8. Pay-what-you-use
Using Anow as a cloud-based software platform is cost-effective. You never think about how much storage you need, you don’t worry about not enough capacity or too much and you are never concerned limits on your records, entries, and files attached. You simply pay per user and the resources they require to perform their function is available to them.
Because that’s how we are charged by the Cloud Hosting providers, it enables us to charge for our service in the same way, through SaaS (software as a service). And if you ever need to cut back, they just cancel some licenses (stranding your investment in hardware). Pay for what you use.
Unique in our industry is Anow solves another problem. Storage, files, appraisals, attachments, photos are documents included in our service. Always available, always growing, always scaling. You don’t need to pay for online services as an extra to your office needs. With Anow it is included.

Conclusion
These are just 8 reasons we love the cloud for Anow, but there are dozens more. The question is no longer “Is my data safe in the Cloud?” or “Why use cloud solutions?”. The real question is now “Why am I not in the cloud?”
Actually, we can pose that question another way. “Why am I not on Anow?”

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