Imagine you need to email a document to an important lead, but you’re having trouble generating a PDF. Instead of waiting for IT to help, you might download a third-party app that creates the PDF for you. Although everything may look fine, the PDF may not be encrypted using your firm’s security standards — meaning that your firm’s and your client’s information are now exposed.
Using rogue technology — also known as shadow IT — can lead to damaging security vulnerabilities and roadblocks. When you download technology and tools that haven’t been approved by your company, you risk leaking data, sabotaging deals, and harming your firm’s reputation.
Unsanctioned applications, or applications unknown to IT, present a serious problem for firms across all industries, as they can lead to data breaches. As BetterCloud’s 2023 State of SaaSOps survey reveals, only about 53% of organizations’ SaaS applications are sanctioned. IBM also reports that the average data breach cost rose to $4.35 million in 2022.
Although rogue technology may seem like an opportunity to close your commercial real estate (CRE) deals faster, the reality is that all too often, these tools instead lead to complications, delays, and costly security breaches. Instead, your firm needs a consolidated solution that increases your dealmaking efficiency — while also protecting your data.
1. You’re unable to find your CRE data when you need it
Instead of using a consolidated document management system, many firms have their staff store sales collateral, contracts, and other documents across various cloud storage systems like Cloud Drive, Dropbox, and Google Drive. The problem with this scattered approach is searchability: If, say, a lead asks to see the cost breakdowns of a particular contract, you might not remember where you stored the contract information and will have to spend precious time searching through your various cloud accounts.
Rogue technology also doesn’t standardize your processes and data, making it even more difficult to find essential information when you need it — potentially slowing your response times to your leads, costing you deals and harming your firm’s reputation.
Alternatively, you could invest in a consolidated data management system that saves all your CRE resources and client files — as well as all versions of your documents — into a single, easily accessible folder. A data management system lets you refer to your files quickly and revert to prior versions if needed, providing better support for your leads and moving deals forward smoothly.
2. You expose your CRE leads to privacy and security risks
Whereas approved tools are vetted to ensure that they meet organizational security requirements, rogue technology tools don’t always have the appropriate security controls. And if data isn’t properly stored and encrypted, you can compromise confidential information.
Let’s say you worked at a coffee shop and emailed your CRE contact an essential document — but the cafe’s Wi-Fi wasn’t secure. If someone was monitoring the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, that person could have skimmed critical financial information from the document you shared. Your CRE lead’s bank account could have been compromised and, if the breach is traced back to you, your company could be found liable.
A consolidated document management system like DealCloud’s encrypts data at rest (when stored within the system) and in transit (when transferred). When operating within this kind of software suite, you don’t need to worry about security risks — even if you’re using unsecured Wi-Fi — because the data is encrypted end-to-end.
3. You miss critical conversations and opportunities with CRE leads
In a world where relationships are everything, CRE professionals need to make sure they’re easy to reach and as accessible as possible to ensure they don’t miss important opportunities. If they’re using multiple rogue technology tools for scheduling, though, they may accidentally overbook themselves or miss emails and calls.
For example, a CRE dealmaker might use a combination of a personal calendar, business calendar, and pen-and-paper planner to book and track their meetings. With such disparate scheduling tools, it’s easy to accidentally schedule a critical appointment on one calendar without realizing there’s a conflict on the other. That could result in a missed deal, damaged relationship, or delayed closing.
With consolidated deal management systems, you can log and manage all your appointments directly within a single suite and avoid conflicts and overlaps — helping you complete more deals on time and better manage your relationships.
4. You can’t effectively consolidate and analyze your data
Sometimes, dealmakers will rely on a rogue tool simply because it’s familiar or easy to use, like spreadsheets. However, tools like spreadsheets are limited in terms of data consolidation and analytics capabilities. By relying on these kinds of tools, you can miss critical deal information and fail to correctly determine which deals are most likely to close and should prioritize.
Spreadsheets are also notoriously prone to errors. According to IBM, 88% of spreadsheets contain at least one mistake — so you could introduce critical issues when analyzing data simply by entering a few numbers incorrectly.
The right purpose-built, CRE-specific deal management system already has CRE prospect analysis built into the software, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally deleting critical formulas or algorithms, entering incorrect data, or building your analytics. It will even let you access third-party CRE dealmaking information by integrating with third-party data repositories, so you can stay better informed while managing your data within a single platform.
5. You may fail to meet CRE compliance or auditing standards
If you’ve been using disparate systems to store, send, and edit documents, you likely struggle to track modifications to those documents and furnish compliance data on-demand. Rogue technology tools make this problem worse, as they rarely meet compliance and auditing standards — potentially costing you legal exposure, heavy fines, and a loss of trust from your leads.
Consider the following scenario: One of your clients is pending litigation, and your company holds relevant data. You need to put the deal on hold and pull all the client’s documents — but because you’ve been using rogue technology to store your data, you have no idea where all the relevant documents are. You spend hours poring over your digital documents and emails to ensure you’re in compliance — hours that could have been spent making deals.
By contrast, modern CRMs and document management suites have built-in protection for litigation holds and audits. During legal discovery, the suite will automatically put documents on hold and generate audit data such as who used, accessed, and modified the files, and when.
DealCloud’s centralized dealmaking system protects your data from the complications of rogue technology
Rogue technology may seem like a faster, easier way to complete your deals; however, these tools present serious privacy, security, and compliance risks that can impact your performance and revenue. Rogue technology doesn’t provide the transparency, visibility, or connectivity CRE deals need.
Technology is more than just where you store your deal information — it’s where your deals are made. And when you’re dealing with something as critical as CRE deals, you need a consolidated solution that’s secure and purpose-built for the CRE industry.
DealCloud provides valuable data analysis and insights while keeping you and your CRE leads connected. With DealCloud, you gain access to the tools you need to keep your deals moving while maintaining strict data security and compliance measures.