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Prepare for Disaster: Going Without Your Favorite Technology

burnt outAll good things must come to an end. This is as true in the technology world as it is anywhere else. When one or more of your favorite technology solutions becomes unavailable, whether it's because your MLS is changing vendors or the vendor themselves go out of business, it can be upsetting and disruptive. The solution is to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few suggestions.

1) Recognize that it can happen to anyone.

No technology is immune from this possibility. That goes for your website provider, MLS system, your phone, your computer, and more. Take every single tool that you use and imagine life without it; that will give you some idea of the potential realities. You need to have a disaster recovery plan for everything that you cannot live without. It does not need to be planned in great detail – but you need to know the basics.

2) Understand the differences between "software as a service" and installed software.

Even if you're unfamiliar with the term "software as a service" (SaaS), you're certainly familiar with the concept – it usually refers to an application hosted on the Internet. For the purposes of this discussion, when we refer to SaaS, we're also talking about cloud-based software – while there are some fine distinctions between the two, they are very similar in that the data is hosted externally and you access it through a Web browser. This is in contrast to software that is actually installed on your computer (like Microsoft Word) and data stored on your computer (like a Word document).

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