Many financial planners may find themselves cost-constrained but they are willing to spend money on software and other technology to better integrate their businesses and make them more effective, according to the latest research from Investment Trends.
The Investment Trends Adviser Technology Report research, which has also identified the planning industry's increasing embrace of tablet and mobile technology, confirmed that Xplan has increased its dominance as the most-used software amongst financial planners largely driven by its widespread acceptance by major dealer groups.
However it was in the area of integrating systems that the Investment Trends research identified a significant willingness on the part of planners to spend.
The research identified that 88 per cent of planners were seeking integration improvement and that 43 per cent of those were willing to use costlier solutions (either platforms or planning software) to have their integration needs met.
Commenting on the findings, Investment Trends head of research for wealth management, Recep Peker said integration was a daily source of friction in planners' businesses and any improvements towards alleviating this were likely to be well received.
"The largest integration opportunity is through streamlining the platform account opening process from planning software," he said and suggested that platforms and software providers had the opportunity to work more closely to improve integration and hence business efficiency.
Peker said the research had also confirmed that Xplan had the greatest reach in planner relationships with half of planners saying they used the software as their most-used.
The research showed that Coin held second place in terms of primary planner relationships with 19 per cent, followed by Midwinter.
The Investment Trends analysis noted that Xplan's market share had continued to strengthen on the back of solid dealer group support and that 53 per cent of planners who started using their software within the last two years were using Xplan, compared to 48 per cent among those who ahd been using their software for three or more years.
However, where user satisfaction was concerned, Midwinter emerged top of the heap followed by AdviserLogic and AdviserNETgain.