Evaluating your firm's technology stack in 2019

March 13, 2019 by Dillon Gilpatrick

about the author:

Dillon Gilpatrick

Partner experience manager

Dillon has worked in multiple areas at Advicent and has insight into various segments of the industry. For the past few years, he has been an integral part of the Technology Adoption team by managing client relationships serving as a main contact point for numerous implementation projects.

For a firm looking to make substantial improvements to their process in 2019, evaluating the current financial planning technology stack used can have a big impact. Putting the right FinTech in place helps advisors generate higher quality advice, reduce firm-wide inefficiencies, and improve the overall client experience.

Though this process will be unique depending on your firm’s specific needs, here are some key considerations to make along the way.

Efficiency is more than just saving time

It feels like the benefit of “increased efficiency” is touted by just about every technology solution in today’s market, and it’s for good reason. According to research firm IDC, companies lose 20 to 30 percent in revenue each year due to inefficiencies. An inefficient tech stack not only causes headaches and wasted time for advisors, but it can severely dwindle a firm’s bottom line.

When looking at the technology your firm currently has in place, consider the various ways it could be more efficient. For example, look for a solution with integrations which can cut down time-consuming tasks such as data entry. Rather than manually entering in client data and having to re-check for validation, tools such as the NaviPlan client portal allow for simple account aggregation. This allows your advisors to spend more time with their clients and your compliance team will be thrilled knowing they can trust the inputs.

From beginning to end, training and support are crucial

It can be intimidating when switching from one program to another and you may have concerns over how strenuous that transition might be. The best way to tackle this change is by seeking software that offers robust training options. By having access to quality training courses, webinars, learning documents, and more, the time needed to get your advisors and back office employees up and running on the new software will be cut down significantly.

For NaviPlan, we recently debuted the eLearning Classroom, which provides users engaging online training courses that can be completed at their own pace. This has been an incredibly useful tool for firms migrating to NaviPlan and even for veteran advisors looking for a refresher. No matter what software you are evaluating, consider what training options your firm’s employees will have at their disposal.

Even with a variety of training resources, there will come a time when more support may be needed. Before making changes in your technology stack, understand what type of support will be available to you moving forward and how readily available it is.

Consider your needs not only for now, but also down the road

Although budget is not the most exciting part of evaluating your current technology stack, it remains one of the most important aspects for many firms. When evaluating and choosing new FinTech to fit your firm’s budget, remember to think long-term. Will this software scale to meet your needs in six months, a year, five years? The last thing you want is to choose a tool that constrains or prevents your business from expanding into new client segments down the road. This would only result in spending more money on additional software and more time on yet another transition. Budgets are set in place for good reason, but keep in mind that a cheaper, short-term solution may end up costing much more in the long run.

In addition, keep in mind what else you get for the price of your products such as workflows for compliance, dependability, add-on features, training and support, branding specific to your firm, continuous enhancements, and so on. Do not hesitate to ask sales representatives about these types of categories that can come into play in the future.

In the end, what you buy does matter. However, it also matters why you buy it. Make sure you are analyzing everything from time saving features to support and training.

To learn more on how NaviPlan can work within your firm's technology stack, click here.

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