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Technology adoption is often compartmentalised as an ‘IT issue’. Processes and systems that belong in a specific department, rather than affect the business as a whole.

But there’s a human side to technology, with barriers that need to be overcome to unleash the power of software. There’s no better industry that stands to benefit from technology than financial services.

Technology can be threatening and overwhelming. It’s always changing and can paralyse decision-making. This is why we advocate for establishing a tech partnership, not just incorporating fintech SaaS.

We know the current problems:

  • Many financial advisors don’t understand (or aren’t willing to understand) the value of technology
  • There are too many choices
  • Implementation takes time – years, not months
  • Practices know financial services, not technology. They’re afraid to make the wrong decision.
  • A lack of staff to lead the implementation internally
  • Talent acquisition, cybersecurity, managing a remote team and regulatory changes are current tension points.

The most important factors in choosing software are the features and usability, customer  support, security, reputation, and pricing.

Tech needs to be an enabler

This is the era of digital transformation, but it’s necessary to know not everything needs to be digitised. There will be tasks that could benefit from being digital such as the financial advice delivery process, collecting digital signatures, document storage, marketing, and reporting.

Don’t leave everything in the hands of software vendors. Do your due diligence and take the necessary security measures. Know and understand the problems you’re looking to solve. Be realistic about what tech can actually do. Consider the client impact and engage with them during the implementation process.

Tech is only as good as the staff who use it. False expectations in tech are a common occurrence. Make innovation part of your culture, rather than a one-time, once every few years event. Be willing to change and create a plan for how you’ll do it.

Selecting a tech provider to manage change

You need a supplier who not only understands technology, but also the financial services industry. A provider who knows the industry red tape (compliance burden, regulatory framework, security dangers etc.) and can resolve it with software. Good technology understands the realities of the industry it serves.

While SaaS can offer plug-and-play type solutions, tech partners like Opex provide both the product and bespoke service.

The solution: handholding and support across the entire firm, for the long-term. A tech partner grows with you and flags (and solves) problems you didn’t know you had.

Because tech is only as good as the team who uses it, this partnership is extremely important. As tech partners, we help plan the implementation and embed the tech in both the business and processes. There needs to be people leading the change. People supporting the rest of the team, pioneering the tech, managing change and contingency planning, with a 18-24-month view.

Commit the resources, expect issues to arise but stay the course, and remember, software isn’t a static solution. A tech partner will help you constantly iterate to maximise efficiencies and lead the industry.

Partner with Opex for software and service built for financial advisers.

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