Technology is an investment, and like any investment, it must deliver a decent return.

Cost is easy to assess, but value can be harder to define. The value proposition is unique for each practice: it may be time saved, it may be a better service, it may be improved compliance.

Pricing should be flexible, putting as much power in the hands of advisers as possible. For example, does it provide an option to choose your payment schedule, such as monthly or annually?

Some advice software can be split by modules to make the service more tailored, thus generating greater value. There is little point in paying for services that you don’t need.

A comprehensive piece of advice software is likely to cost more than niche services that cover part of the journey, but to get a true view of the total cost of ownership, licensing fees and integration costs across the entire technology stack – which may be made up of multiple pieces of software – need to be considered.

Switching solutions can become expensive and time consuming when your customer data, documents and business processes become deeply embedded in a platform. These switching, set-up and support costs should be calculated and considered in the software decision.

Cloud-based software offers significant value beyond its price. It supports a workforce that needs to be mobile in the era of COVID-19. It streamlines communication, document storage and sharing between advisers and their clients. Software is updated quickly over the cloud compared to desktop software, reducing security risks, and making the platform easier to maintain.

With a true cloud solution, there should be minimal costs to consider outside the software licensing fees. Some software providers will charge for training and implementation. If you require any customisation for your practice, this will generally incur a fee.

The cost of ownership needs to include the direct price associated with purchasing and setting up the software, as well as any associated costs for training, management, and support.

Want to find out more? Our free eBook ‘How to choose the right advice software for your practice’ provides a framework to help Advisers and Practice Owners review their advice technology requirements so they can select the software that is best suited to their needs. Click here to download this now.

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