Recently, the SSAA asked us for our thoughts on the self storage technology trends to watch in 2022. Self storage in Australia has seen its fair share of challenges recently – with a global pandemic, a tumultuous economy, and prolonged lockdowns to contend with. Throughout all of the changes, we’ve seen some exciting shifts in the way we operate and the things we focus on as an industry – particularly around the use of technology in facilities.
We’re expecting some of these changes and trends to continue into 2022 – and we think it’s going to be an exciting year!
Without any further ado, read on to hear about the technology trends we spoke about in our latest article for the SSAA. Don’t forget, if you’re an SSAA member you can access the Insider magazine here!
The Age of the Cloud
There’s no doubt about it – the Cloud is here to stay. The months we spent working out of our home offices (or any spare corner we could find!) changed the way we connect and access our work, and self storage is no different. With cloud-based or online platforms allowing staff to work from virtually anywhere, we’re expecting to see a continued shift away from ‘on premises’ software that require dedicated hardware and expensive ongoing maintenance in 2022.
‘Self Serve’ for Storers.
Covid kicked it off, and convenience continues it! Increasingly often, different parts of your tech stack can work together to provide customers with quick and easy ways to ‘self-serve’ their needs online without the need for staff help. Giving your storers the tools to do everyday things – like get a price for the unit they’re interested in, reserve or pay for a space online at any time of the day, and update their contact information – can reduce the administrative burden on your staff, and help you provide a great customer experience. If you’re not already using it, Storman’s online Move-ins add-on is a great way to enable customers to choose a unit, book, and move-in online – we can even allocate them a PIN automatically. You can learn more about it here.
A self storage facility has lots of moving parts, when you think about it: there are security systems, accounting software and access control systems to take into account. So it’s no surprise that more and more facilities are wanting those moving parts to talk to each other! Whether it’s integrations that empower facilities to view and use their data in a variety of reports, or a security system that allows storers to unlock their units with just their phone if they’re paid up to date, or management software that brings all your customer communications into one space – we think this will be a big growth area in the next twelve months.
A Focus on Cyber Security
Self storage facilities have always needed a lot of data to operate effectively, and this has only increased with the rise of online sign-ups and payments. After all – you’re always going to need to know who your storers are, how to contact them, and how to take their payments! All of this information about your storers is sensitive, and must be held securely and protected from unwanted access – more so now than ever before. Over the last financial year, the Australian Cyber Security Centre saw an increase of 13% on the year before – meaning there’s one cyber attack reported every eight minutes!
How you choose to keep your facility’s data safe can vary, and is often a many-pronged approach. Often a cyber security strategy will include the use of firewalls to prevent ‘unwanted visitors’ from accessing your data, the encryption of sensitive information, the use of appropriate anti-virus, and the restriction of access (both physical and virtual) to only those who need it. It’s also important to ensure that your software providers and partners are taking steps to keep your data safe! With the amount of time we spend online and the amount of data we collect on the rise, we’re expecting to see a greater focus on cyber security this year.
We can’t wait to see all the exciting things self storage facilities across Australia and New Zealand use technology to achieve in 2022! If you’d like to learn more about Storman Cloud, just fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.