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What financial services firms need to know before selecting new technology solutions

Apr 26, 2021

The financial industry has undergone rapid change and disruption. Those firms that are competitive and gaining market share are the ones that have looked strategically over the long-term and determined that technology must play a critical role in attaining future success.

What’s driving this need for technology? At its core, it is the customer experience. Clients expect to interact with your firm online. If you’re a financial institution, they expect to be able to easily transfer money to friends to pay for dinner or deposit a birthday check by taking a photo of it in their banking app. If you’re a wealth and asset management firm, they expect to interact with their advisor on any channel, at any time, and to access a well-designed and easy-to-use investment portal on any device. With the COVID-19 pandemic driving expectations even further into the digital realm, clients now expect to virtually sit down and talk to your employees about all of their financial needs.

If financial services firms don’t give clients choices on how to conduct business — whether it’s in person, online or mobile — they will be left behind as consumer behavior continues evolve to the digital marketplace. Technology can give your firm the added boost it needs to continue delivering great service and prevent clients from looking at alternatives for lack of modern convenience.

How to choose the right software

The fear many firms have is that upgrading one component of technology will set off dominoes, and that you’ll suddenly be looking at replacing all systems, from the core to other integrated solutions, with new technology.

However, there is a way to take most of the stress out of software selection and to mitigate the risk of the project on your firm. And that’s by taking a detailed and methodical approach to meeting your firm’s true technology needs.

Should you upgrade your current system? Should you evaluate competitors to see if their system suits you and your client’s needs better? Which system will allow you to grow market share and stay competitive — keeping up with what your firm will look like not just now but also three years from now? A software selection process will answer these questions and more.

Breaking down the software selection process

The start of the software selection process is to identify what your key business issues are that your new software will need to solve. What are the technology requirements it must have and the processes it will need to support? Perhaps your largest priority is better serving a specific division. Or perhaps it’s improving automation, streamlining workflows and updating document-management processes. It could even be creating a custom mobile app. By clearly defining the requirements and priorities, you can better evaluate potential solutions.

The choice in software you make should also be driven by your firm’s strategy. You want a system to not only solve current challenges but also offer pathways to overcome future challenges and meet evolving long-term goals. Your systems should be able to grow along with your firm.

These are a few key thoughts that help financial services firms lay the foundation for success when selecting a new technology system. We’ve put together a software selection checklist for you to use, based on our proven selection methodology.

Let Wipfli help you select the right system

Wipfli has helped many financial services firms through the software selection process, giving them the confidence that they’ve chosen the right system to meet their needs, serve their clients and grow with their organization.

We can take the project management responsibility off your shoulders. Experienced, skilled consultants lead requirements-gathering sessions so that all your critical processes and software needs are captured and prioritized. We break down vendor proposals and responses into key findings, giving your team concrete data to make decisions.

Click here to learn more about how our team can create clear and efficient conversations around your software requirements, while freeing up more of your team’s time to focus on serving your clients.

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Brett Polglaze
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