Data management is an important part of any business. When you’re managing a homeowner association (HOA) or condominium association (COA), how you store your client’s data is crucial. Using cloud servers and cloud-based management software like CINC Systems offers many benefits over traditional data storage. Transferring your data to the cloud will help you manage your clients’ HOA/COAs more efficiently.
So how do you transfer your association management software data from your servers to the cloud? Depending on your business’s digital infrastructure, transferring your data may take some time. Moving your data to cloud storage is a process that involves a few key steps. Although you may be tempted to rush the process, each step will ensure that your data stays more secure, organized, and easy to access.
If you’re thinking about transferring your client’s HOA/COA data to the cloud, here’s what you need to know.
First, it’s helpful to understand the benefits of cloud storage versus traditional data storage. With traditional data storage, your HOA/COA management data exists on the physical hard drives and computers located in your office. Think of a traditional server like a file cabinet, where all of your client’s data is stored on files in one place. If you need access to those files, you have to be in the same location as the file cabinet.
With a cloud server, you can access your client’s HOA/COA data anywhere. A cloud server means that your data is stored on remote servers, or “in the cloud,” rather than existing on a single computer. Cloud data storage allows you greater mobility than traditional data storage because all you need to access the data is a username and password. You’re not tied down to a specific computer.
Cloud servers are also more secure. When you upload data to the cloud, most software developers use state-of-the-art encryption to protect it. Encryption “scrambles” the data so that it can’t be read by unauthorized third-parties. Plus, remote cloud servers are usually spread out across multiple physical locations. This means that if one server becomes compromised by a hacker or goes offline due to a technical problem, the data stored on the other servers is still safe and intact.
As an HOA/COA manager, cloud storage is a great choice for your business. Using cloud servers for your data allows you to manage your client’s associations from any location, 24/7. The increased security is also a great feature because you’re often working with financial data and residents’ private information.
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Given the benefits of cloud storage, most HOA/COA managers can streamline their businesses and manage clients more efficiently by transferring their data to the cloud. The first step in this process is choosing a cloud-based HOA/COA management software platform, such as CINC Systems.
Cloud-based HOA/COA management software can be customized for any association, large or small. You’ll be able to find software that handles the unique needs of each of your client’s associations. After you’ve selected the cloud-based HOA/COA management software you want to use, purchase the software or sign up for a subscription.
After you’ve acquired cloud-based software, the next step for transferring your HOA/COA management data to the cloud is to create accounts with strong passwords. Make new, separate user accounts for anyone who needs access to the software. It may be tempting to let your co-managers or other employees share one account, but this isn’t secure.
When creating accounts, everyone should use a strong password. Experts recommend creating a password that’s between eight and 16 characters long. It should include a mix of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols such as $, @, or %. Use a brand new, unique password for your HOA/COA management software that you don’t use with any other software program or account.
Never share your password with anyone else or store it on your computer in a Word document, spreadsheet, or email. If you have difficulty remembering all your different passwords, try using keychain software. You can also write the password down on a piece of paper to keep in a private, locked safe.
You’re almost ready to start transferring your association management data to the cloud! Before you do, however, we recommend creating a physical backup. This will protect your HOA/COA data just in case there is a problem during the transfer.
Purchase a brand new external hard drive or USB drive, then transfer your data to this drive. Depending on how much HOA/COA data you have, this probably won’t take more than an hour. Create a password to protect the hard drive or USB drive, safely eject it from your computer, then store it in a secure location.
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Next, check your internet connection. If possible, connect your computer directly to your modem via an ethernet cable instead of using WiFi. When you are transferring data to the cloud, it’s important to use a reliable internet connection to avoid disruptions. If you get disconnected in the middle of the transfer, it can cause file errors. If you’re uploading data in very large quantities, we recommend separating it into smaller batches instead of transferring everything all at once.
Also, make sure your connection is secure and private. Avoid using public WiFi or an internet connection shared by other businesses.
After you’ve successfully uploaded your HOA/COA management data to the cloud, now it’s time to test it out. Log out of your association management software, then log back in. You could even try moving to another location. Once you log back in, check to see that all your data is present and accessible. You can also use this time to reorganize your files, if needed.
Once you’ve confirmed that your data is successfully transferred to the cloud, you can delete it from the servers in your office if you feel comfortable. This will save space on your computer and increase its performance.
To experience the benefits of cloud-based data storage for your HOA/COA management business, try CINC Systems. Request a free demo by calling (855) 943-8246.