Modern software solutions offer a user experience so different from legacy applications that it defies easy comparison. The key driver to this is the underpinning technology.
Two decades ago – back when I first got into software design – software ran locally.
By this, I mean: users downloaded an application and installed it on their personal computers. This application might have communicated with a server over the internet, and it might even have stored data centrally and provided a way for users to collaborate. Crucially, however, some of the functionality of the software ran on the user’s personal computer (think “thin client”).
This can cause all sorts of problems, such as the performance degradation which occurs when the software overtaxes the local computer on which it is running.
Modern applications, by contrast, run natively on the cloud. In other words, there is no installed component on a user’s computer, and all software code is stored and runs at the data center of a public cloud provider.
This architecture has a transformational impact on performance. These cloud providers – Google, Amazon, Microsoft – avail their massive computing resources to the applications they host. Consequently, cloud computing software solutions do not slow even in the face of peak usage.
This is why retail websites don’t crash on Cyber Monday. It’s how Netflix handled a huge spike in usage during Covid without blinking, and why Google Maps gets you where you need to go at rush hour.
In our world (Statutory Financial Reporting), this technology also allows Gain Compliance to offer vastly superior outcomes – measured in data quality – for our customers.
Here are a few examples:
- Extensiveness of Gain’s data validation library: with no practical limitation whatsoever in the number of accounting rules that can be applied to filings, our coverage (as measured in the number of rules) far exceeds the legacy products.
- Breadth of data validation rules: in addition to quantitative accounting rules, Gain’s validation engine supports qualitative checks that deeply impact filing quality.
- Extensibility of rules library: Gain’s library is constantly expanding based both upon observed data and customer input.
- Educational resources and user experience: Gain’s validations run across the entire filing, in real-time, with a modern interface that offers instant insight into what drives the errors and how to fix them.
By contrast, our competitors’ products – all of which rely on legacy, installed architecture – are limited by technology. The performance lag of legacy software is not just a matter of convenience – measured by time wasted as a user twiddles her thumbs waiting for calculations to update – but, more concerning, serve as a warning that the output is second-rate as well.
It the world of statutory financial reporting, the two-sided validation rule that describes this is:
Performance = Quality