8 CRE Tech Terms You Must Know August 4, 2015 | Scott Sidman

So, you want to join the CRE Tech Revolution sweeping the industry? Before you get started, make sure you know real estate technology terms and concepts so you’re asking the right questions.

Here are some basic new technology principles and terms that you should know that will help you in any internal discussion as well as with a technology provider.

 

Today’s Technology Terms/Concepts

 

  • API: An abbreviation for application program interface. An API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. It is a software intermediary that enables application programs to interact with each other and share data.

 

  • Cloud Software:A general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

 

  • Data Governance:In practical terms, Data Governance refers to the rules that determine which application or system is the “system of record” that “owns” a particular data set. That data set should be used (via integration methods) by other applications requiring the same data.

 

  • Data & System Security:Techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer or network of computers or servers cannot be read or compromised by any individuals without authorization.

 

  • Hosted Services:Technology services offered to you or your company by a provider that hosts the physical servers running that service somewhere else. Access to the service is usually provided through a direct network connection that could run via the Internet.

1.SOC Audits and Reports:SOC stands for Service Organization Controls. SOC Audits are provided by independent auditors and take the form in SOC 1, 2, or 3 reports.

  • A SOC audit represents a service organization’s controls relevant to the security, availability, or processing integrity of a service organization’s system or the privacy or confidentiality of the information the system processes.
  • You should always ask for the software providers’ hosting provider’s (i.e. Rackspace,) SOC Audit report.
  • Depending on the size of your organization or mission-criticality of the system, you may require a SOC Audit Report (typically 2 or 3) from the system provider as well.

2.Mobile App

  • A mobile app is a software program built specifically for and designed to run on smartphones and tablets.
  • Mobile Apps are available through an “application distribution platform,” such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World. They are downloaded from the platform to a target device.
  • A Mobile App will provide a better user experience than simply operating a “Mobile Web” application through a smartphone or tablet browser.
  • Part of that experience includes the ability to operate in areas of little or no wireless or cellular connectivity.

3.Subscription License

  • Subscriptions are rented software, rather than purchased software. Instead of buying software and paying for periodic upgrades, SaaS is subscription based, and all upgrades are provided during the term of the subscription. When the subscription period expires, the software is no longer valid.
  • You should also execute a specific “Subscription License Agreement” as it contains very specific mutual (provider and client) provisions and protections regarding data ownership, system reliability, data security and other important areas.

 

This is by no means a list to represent everything you need to know as an executive in charge of a purchasing decision for a new technology solution. Instead, this should provide a good head start and foundation for knowing the right questions to ask and increasing your technology IQ.

Technology changes constantly, so these terms may be outdated in a few years as newer, better tech arises. You can stay up-to-date on the latest real estate technology innovations through various social media channels and blog subscriptions. Once you know the CRE tech terms, you’ll be on your way to finding the right technology for you and your team.

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About The Author

Scott Sidman – Senior Vice President, Building Engines


Scott is Building Engines’ Senior Vice President in charge of marketing and corporate strategy.  He’s led Building Engines’ expansion efforts since 2004 and is also their CRE Technology evangelist; writing and speaking regularly on the use of real estate technology to improve operations and management practices. Mr. Sidman is an established marketing and sales executive with a diverse entrepreneurial background developing and implementing early-stage sale, marketing and business strategies. Prior to Building Engines, Mr. Sidman was a partner at Cedona Technologies, LLC where he led the company’s strategic efforts in selling event management and media archival tools. He also founded Access Solutions International, a foreign trade consulting company guiding US and Brazilian clients. He additionally co-founded and managed a Boston-based CRE services fi­rm. Mr. Sidman holds a B.S. from Cornell University.