A recent Stargate survey has highlighted that more than two-thirds (72%) of the 365 broker respondents expressed confusion and concern over hosted software applications and the security implications of their data under such a setup.
While broker acceptance of cloud-based solutions is growing, many are yet to understand the benefits that hosted solutions can offer over traditional
Despite massive investments into hosted infrastructure by industry powerhouses such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, this gap in Broker understanding may prevent many from recognising the significant cost savings that the cloud can provide, possibly at the expense of acquiring new business because of a dependence on existing, out-dated on-premise solutions.
“Using cloud-based solutions can make a lot of sense in this day and age. Rather than buying and maintaining your own machines, why not take advantage of the huge investment that some of the world’s largest companies are making. Microsoft has literally acres of internet accessible servers, monitored by massive teams of engineers” says Brett Spencer, CEO Stargate Group.
“Maintaining your own systems can be hard. Many brokers are unable to grow their business properly due to constraints in their IT platforms. With installed software that runs on basic servers, many underestimate the need for future growth and plan for today only. When it comes time to grow, the costs can be prohibitive by having to upgrade old servers and software. Using the cloud takes care of this for them. Scalability and reliability are two of the biggest benefits of hosted solutions. Pay for what you use, scale up when you need it and pull back when you don’t.” Brett added.
Many brokers are already seeing the benefits to hosted applications. Online loan processing is becoming more commonplace and is simply another type of cloud-based solution. While the uptake of online loan processing and customer management solutions is on the rise, many brokers still continue to insist on keeping their back-office ‘on-premise’.
“Moving your entire office to the cloud can realise some pretty big savings. With the release of Google docs a while ago, many realised that the need for software installed on your machines was simply more than what they needed to process a simple document. With the impending release of Office 365, brokers can recognise the costs savings of only needing to pay $5 per user per month for hosted exchange servers and they know that they can rely on having a 99.9% uptime.”
“Like many others, we’ve invested heavily into providing rock solid equipment to ensure our systems remain secure and available when our users need it and give them the confidence and proven record of performance over the past 15 years. Brokers need to understand that this method is safe, reliable and secure. Compare this approach to if you had all your data on a laptop and it was stolen or broken, where would you be then? With hosted, always-on solutions, your data will always be there.” Brett concluded.