New technologies for financial planning – SaaS
What is Software as-a-service (SaaS)?
SaaS delivers applications via the internet. These applications are built, managed and updated by third-party sellers like Microsoft and Adobe who can keep the application updated and “bug free” without the user having to take any action. This is because most run directly through the user’s web browser avoiding any downloads.
The user is relieved of needing any IT expertise, server or storage.
Essential characteristics are;
- Managed from a central location
- Hosted on a remote server
- Accessible over the internet
- Users not responsible for hardware or software updates
- Usually no lock-in contract
Good examples are Salesforce, Google Workforce and Dropbox.
What is Platform as-a-service (PaaS)?
PaaS provides a framework for developers to create customized applications. It is delivered via the web, giving developers the freedom to concentrate on building the software without having to worry about operating systems, software updates, storage, or infrastructure.
The applications built by developers, sometimes called middleware, are scalable and highly available with “cloud” characteristics as below;
- Simple, cost-effective development and deployment of apps
- Highly available
- Developers can customize apps within the framework
- far less coding needed
Good examples are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure and Google App Engine.
What is Infrastructure as-a-service (IaaS)?
IaaS allows businesses to purchase resources like servers and storage on-demand instead of having to buy hardware themselves.
This is provided to the organization through a dashboard or an API, giving them complete control over the resources they are purchasing.
IaaS offers the following advantages, including:
- Flexible cloud computing
- Easy to access to scalable storage, networks, servers, and processing power
- Clients retain control of the services they buy
Good examples are Amazon Web Services , Windows Azure and Google App Engine.
How could financial planning use this technology?
These services could deliver great benefits to financial planners. They make storage, applications and computing power easily available and easily discarded if better options emerge. There are a great number of applications currently available that advisers could use.
Amazon’s Alexa allows developers to build skills using their Web Services and Finchat has a financial planning skill using their cloud services you can access here.