In my last post, I discussed looking for an asset and equipment financing platform that aligns with your business today and that has the flexibility and needed integrations to grow with you in the future. This alignment is critical to a successful long-term relationship between a customer and a technology partner, but the platform is only part of the equation. For most, our lives are becoming increasingly mobile and our technology platforms follow us. Gone are the days when the only way to listen to music or watch a show was to use a fixed medium like a CD or DVD. Cloud computing has liberated us from being tied to these sort of storage devices in favor of real-time anywhere access to anything we want. While business applications are different due to the security requirements around data, the ease and convenience delivered through the cloud is re-shaping the way business applications are consumed.
As you look for a financing platform, it is important that you look for a technology partner that gives you flexible delivery options.
The software world continues to evolve at a staggering pace, impacting the way we buy and consume just about everything. From Uber to Airbnb, industries are being disrupted by new delivery models of existing services. The asset and equipment finance industry is starting to see this impact in the way finance platforms are now being delivered. Traditionally financial institutions have wanted all of their technology to be on-premise in their data center, but with the proliferation of cloud-based solutions, we are now seeing financing companies become more open to a cloud-first strategy for their mission critical systems. While cloud delivered back-office and front-office systems may not be for every organization, the majority of finance organizations can benefit from cloud technology. The software vendor is the one who has to worry about ongoing management of IT infrastructure and application management, allowing the finance company to focus on what they are good at – servicing their growing business and customers.
Providing you with options to support your business today…and grow with you in the future.
Cloud has made a significant impact in how technology is delivered, but not all organizations are ready or able to make the jump to a cloud only solution. The technology vendor should be able to provide different use models. There are three basic models to consider – on-premise, cloud, and hybrid. Each model provides a balance of the amount of effort needed to support the technology platform and trust needed to store data in the cloud. For on-premise, you are responsible for all technology with the vendor delivering the application and supporting your IT team. Cloud takes away the burden of building and supporting IT infrastructure but requires you to check that your technology vendor is exercising security best practices and has the associated certifications (i.e., SOC-2).
Flexibility goes beyond the technology platform – it should also extend to the pricing structure.
A growing number of asset and equipment finance customers have a consumption-based model where they only pay based on usage of the asset. The classic example being office imaging solutions like copiers. Your financing platform should give you this option as well, especially when delivered as a 100% Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. For those finance organizations in a specialty market without the volume of a tier one bank, a consumption-based pricing model might be a good alternative to other more traditional license and maintenance pricing structures. As we set out to build our IDScloud solution, this was a critical change allowing us to deliver our InfoLease and Rapport solutions to lessors of any size.
In my next blog post, I will take on the topic of working with a vendor who is actively looking to the future to provide solutions that anticipate and meet the changing needs of the asset and equipment financing industry.
Katie Emmel, Chief Operating Officer