Practically all companies today rely on technology to conduct business and serve clients. Because computers and the Internet are so critical to daily operations, it is important for Los Angeles RIAs to have a technology plan in place.
Properly designed and implemented, a technology plan makes it easier to share valuable information among employees. Many companies have had the negative experience of investing in new hardware and software only to discover the following:
- It is incompatible with the existing equipment or IT infrastructure
- No proper training for staff
- Upgrade and support costs are higher than expected
A well-written technology plan will help a Los Angeles investment firm articulate what is needed and communicate those details to all employees.
Assess Company Needs
When putting together a technology plan, the employee or employees responsible must determine IT requirements from every level of the investment firm.
Examples of information gathering include interviewing staff from different departments, reviewing workflow procedures, and identifying any constraints, such as budget, that can impact purchase decisions.
Once products (computers, software) and/or services (cloud storage) have been obtained, goals need to be set for features such as network availability, firewall performance, and reliability of new software.
Select Adaptable Technologies Whenever Possible
It makes sense to work with technologies that can grow and adapt with the firm. A solid plan needs to take into account where the company will be in six months, a year, and beyond, so IT staff can seek out technology that will support those goals.
For example, if the aim is to grow the firm’s RIA team, then software that supports multiple cost-effective licenses is in order. This approach ensures that all hardware and software purchases will always work with the firm instead of against it.
Develop a Business Contingency Plan
Los Angeles RIAs who depend on the firm's technology to support their operations must include business contingency scenarios in their technology plans. That way, company applications and data remain available to both employees and clients in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
Develop a Strong Support Base
All technology plans need to identify support services and the parties responsible for them. Examples include:
- Help with installing and upgrading hardware, software, and applications
- Ensuring that critical operations can carry on without disruption during maintenance
- Security protocols for protecting company and client information
Once all of this information is assembled, it can be used to strengthen and improve technology usage at your investment firm. By addressing current shortcomings and future goals, a well-rounded plan ensures that technology will always be a company asset instead of a hindrance.
Developing a budget supported technology plan and reviewing it at regular intervals can ensure that company hardware and software solutions continue to provide maximum value. Plans that are long-term but flexible will give the firm a sense of direction while allowing it to adapt as the tech world evolves.
Does your firm have a technology plan in place? Do you feel that it has contributed to operational strength and stability? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.