As smaller wealth management practices and boutique firms look to develop or expand upon their offerings, they often struggle with resource constraints in terms of available capital, time or IT staff when selecting and implementing comprehensive wealth management platforms. With top talent departing many of the traditional banks and brokerage firms to start their own independent advisory practices, and some firms experiencing higher demand as “do-it-yourself” investors seek professional financial guidance, the need for quickly deployed advisor solutions is growing rapidly.
Integrated platforms for financial planning, asset allocation and other key capabilities provided in a Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, delivery model are playing a key role in effectively meeting the needs of independent advisors without the time and infrastructure costs of larger implementations.
In fact, advisors looking to expand the functionality of their current tools can benefit from SaaS solutions, as well as large firms looking to roll out tools to advisors across the organization. These include independent advisors and small firms, advisors at firms that are responsible for their own tools, or insurance companies looking to expand into advisory services.
SaaS delivery provides an automated, Web-based environment that helps to simplify implementation, accelerate time-to-market, and gain ongoing processing and cost efficiencies with minimal IT support.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a software deployment model whereby a software provider licenses an application to users for use as a service on-demand in a Web-based environment. Unlike application service provider or ASP models, SaaS does not require separate software installations on a server and potential dedicated hardware per customer. Using common architecture and a server set in which customer information is securely partitioned, SaaS provides a shared and “multi-tenant” environment without sacrificing the ability for users to tailor the solution to their specific needs. This type of efficiency can provide significant cost savings and other advantages for advisors.
Why is SaaS crucial now?
There are critical needs for advisors of all calibers to succeed today. Seasoned advisors serving more sophisticated, high net worth clients, require more holistic wealth management tools to meet a variety of investor needs, while advisors serving a higher volume of mass affluent investors seek tools to help quickly create basic financial plans. Regardless of advisors’ skill levels, they all need efficiency to help them decrease or eliminate their reliance on IT infrastructures, reduce costs, and become more agile in meeting their clients’ needs and remaining competitive.
The current state of the economy is driving increased demand for advisory services as investors seek guidance from investment professionals, creating greater urgency for quickly deployed advisor solutions. Web-based, SaaS platforms can quickly and efficiently meet the needs of independent advisors without the resources, time constraints, and infrastructure cost of larger implementations.