In speaking to Greg Pantazis who works for a major high tech IT company, and  first the  introduced to me to the new language cloud computing. The following is blog on more details of this technology.
More real estate professionals are taking their business to “the cloud,” finding perks of added convenience in accessing property and transaction information instantly while in the field and even paving the way toward paperless transactions. But what exactly is “the cloud”?
A recent survey from Newtek Business Services found that the majority of small business professionals have no clue what the cloud is, and even for those who do say they’ve heard of it, most can’t begin to describe how it works or what it entails.
So if you’re in cloud confusion, you’re hardly alone. But realize it or not, you’re likely already using it. For example, free web services like Google Gmail or Microsoft Hotmail and even YouTube and Facebook can be considered examples of cloud computing. Or maybe you access business applications over the web, like your contact management system, or upload files to document storage and sharing programs, like Dropbox or
Simply put, cloud computing is basically just accessing information over the web. A third-party vendor stores the data for you online, replacing the need for a computer hard-drive, hardware or a flash-drive to gain access to your information or applications. Now you can use your digital files or business applications in the cloud by just logging onto a web browser or a mobile app, which makes the information instantly available to you no matter where you are and on your smartphone, tablet, or any other web-enabled tech device.
Cloud computing has seen explosive growth in recent years, but it’s still in its infancy and the full benefits–and potential risks–are being uncovered. However, for real estate professionals who are always on-the-go and often need a lot of information at their fingertips–whether it’s that client data, transaction or property information, photos, videos, or more–the benefits of “the cloud” are proving vast.

Newtek Business Services, (NASDAQ: NEWT), The Small Business Authority with a portfolio of over 100,000 business accounts, announced the findings of its SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, a monthly window into the concerns of independent business owners. Based on a poll of approximately 1,800 respondents, one of the key findings from May’s survey was small business owners’ apparent lack of Cloud Computing knowledge.

The full May 2011 results showed the following:

Poll Question Poll Answer Percentage
Do you know or have you ever heard of Cloud Computing? YesNo 29%71%
If you know of or ever heard of Cloud Computing, can you describe what Cloud Computing is? YesNo 26%74%
Do you have data or critical information, software or hardware in your physical office like a server, a tower, or a hard drive that may not be secure? YesNo 22%78%
Is all of your critical computer hardware, software, and data stored and backed up offsite? YesNo 29%71%

Barry Sloane, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority commented “Cloud computing will be the next important trend in the U.S. economy for businesses large and small.  There is no doubt that business owners will embrace the cloud concept and over time gravitate towards its massive benefits.  We surveyed over 1,800 independent business owners and discovered that the concept of cloud computing has begun to disseminate into the marketplace, due primarily to large advertising programs by entities like Microsoft, Cisco and others.  Business owners will need to understand what the cloud is and what it can do for their businesses in the areas of cost control, data security, data protection, accessibility, efficiency and productivity to facilitate a smooth running technological platform for their business.”
Mr. Sloane continued “About 25 percent of our business owners said they understood what cloud computing was.  However, when we drilled down deeper most, 78 percent, thought that their data was secure.  Yet 71 percent stated their data was not backed up offsite.  Server huggers beware.  The cloud is approaching; the security blanket of the server in the closet onsite and having an assistant backup important business data and confidential client information needs to be behind us all.  Our survey this month is quite telling about what independent business owners really need to know about the cloud and how misinformed they are about data safety and security.”
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