Is it better to be first to market or best?

Don't rely on old systems which may have been overtaken in the tech race.

Is it better to be first to market or best?

Neal Jannels (pictured), managing director of One Mortgage System

The tech world never sleeps. In recent weeks we’ve seen heightened activity from some of the world largest brands. ITV and BBC combined to announce a new streaming service. Google has laid down the gauntlet to the future of gaming and Apple unveiled a suite of products and services, including video streaming, news, games and even a credit card.

These are all areas which have a massive audience but also ones in which there is deeply entrenched competition. In the case of Apple, it appears this launch is with a view to filling a giant revenue hole left by the diminishing sales of its iPhone.

I read somewhere that sales have flatlined since 2015 and fell 15% in the last quarter of 2018 when the bottom fell out of the Chinese market. Meaning it is now looking for a real game changer.

Which leads to the question - is it better to be first to market, or best to market?

Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to be a true pioneer in any sector but with technology you can make your solution unique, however long this might last. When it comes to tech propositions with the mortgage market there will always be true innovators, imitators and disruptors.

Experience, as well as investment, is vital when looking to either build a specific solution to an issue, help streamline work flows or challenge existing systems with a better offering.

From our perspective, we initially created OMS for internal use only. Only later, when we realised its full potential, did it come down to a decision on if we should keep it to ourselves or commercialise it.

There are now many firms operating in and around the mortgage market who are offering a piece of the tech puzzle.

Increased activity within the intermediary tech space should be applauded as this area severely lacking innovation and positive development projects for far too long. The ability to choose a provider with plug and play is fast becoming standard, and tech firms with the right product and strength of relationships within the industry are swiftly rising to the fore.

First isn’t always best. Intermediaries, lenders and distributors should continue asking questions of technology providers when looking for solutions to best support their business. And not just rely on old systems which may have been overtaken in the tech race.