In-house or Cloud Delivered Financial Reconciliation Software Deployment – a Rapidly Shifting Trend
It has been a little over a year now since ReconArt brought to market its exciting new Total Reconciliation Lifecycle™ solution. From the very first day that design and development started three years earlier in 2008, a primary goal was to offer a solution that could either be installed on our clients’ own servers, or that could simply be switched on and available with no more than a browser. This dictated that we needed a solution that was 100% web designed, developed and deployed, something thought to be of great benefit to both client constituencies for ease of rollout and upgrade.
With this type of software traditionally being installed in-house, particularly in relation to high volume transaction-based reconciliation, we anticipated at most a 50:50 split between a Software-as-a-Service and in-house reconciliation software solution deployment. Furthermore, we forecast that the majority of clients in the financial services space would opt to retain their data and full control of the environment in-house, much more so than in other markets that ReconArt also serves. We were wrong! Happily so.
For many of our customers there will always be very good reasons to keep the software installed in-house, managed by their IT resources. Here the benefits of having one completely integrated and browser deployed solution are obvious: rapid and easy initial deployment and subsequent version upgrades. However, as we had anticipated and engineered for, it seems that the attraction of not having to manage any of that at all has been viewed as a great benefit to our other clients who we have up and running in a matter of hours or days. No hardware, no software, no drain on often already stretched IT resources – basically no hassle.
So where did 2011 end up? From our 50:50 estimate we saw roughly two thirds of new clients opting for a cloud deployment versus a third for an in-house installation. And if we drill deeper into the statistics, within the broader financial services sector including banking, insurance and investments, the proportion of SaaS deployments which we had expected to be in the minority actually ended up close to 60%. Based upon my 10 prior years’ experience of working exclusively with reconciliation software solutions these numbers beg the question: was 2011 the pivotal year when things really started to shift significantly for what has traditionally been a more conservative client base with regard to housing financial data externally?