The leasing industry is yet to significantly harness the powers of the Internet. Despite the hype, the web enabling of the leasing process has been sporadic at best. While the industry has already taken to the Internet's obvious convenience for credit scoring and front-end application processing, a larger and perhaps a more significant impact on productivity has yet to be realized. The advent of the lease life-cycle management model can realize this untapped potential for productivity and, if implemented well, can even directly enhance profitability. Online lease management and accounting software certainly has the makings of a paradigm shift in the lessor's approach to the lease accounting software. More specifically, it holds enough promise to replace the client/server model just as the client/server model itself dethroned the main frame.
To implement, the Internet model is much simpler than its client/server based counterpart, demanding nothing more than a secure Internet server on which the lease accounting software and database reside. Each of the limitless number of computers accessing the server can run any operating system, be it Apple Macintosh or Windows 2000, with nothing more than access to the Internet. By inference, the type of Network and the leasing software's compatibility to it no longer matters. Even the physical implementation of the network itself, in laying down the wiring and connections, becomes redundant when any authorized computer belonging to any authorized user, is part of the virtual network.
In this respect, especially for lessors with multiple operations in different locations, the model used in the lease management software is a boon that takes no more significant effort to tie two computers into its virtual network as it does 2,000. Even training employees to use the lease accounting software becomes easy when there is one standard program worldwide. This immediate scalability and operating-system/network-independence of the leasing software model makes it possible for lessors of all sizes to experience IT benefits unknown in the client/server world.
It would seem that today's nascent Internet technology compromises the functional power of the client/server model in their leasing software; complex algorithms required to amortize income or calculate yields appear hard or even impossible to replicate on a browser. Fortunately, however, with the growing sophistication of Internet developmental platforms such as Microsoft's Active Server Pages, Internet applications run a tight race with client/server technologies.