If I were to keep track of every conversation I have with advisors, a majority of the topics would revolve around why they are waiting to do something with their technology. Sometimes there are excellent reasons to wait: maybe for compliance reasons, staff availability or budgeting. Sometimes, however, waiting may seem to have good reasons behind it when in reality it is only masking procrastination. Ultimately, waiting is delaying efficiency gains.
What is your firm waiting to do with technology? Are you still running Windows XP? Generally speaking, once an operating system release is considered successful, it is a best practice to upgrade. By waiting, you are not only giving up functionality enhancements, you are also missing important security improvements. Windows Vista was widely thought to be a disappointment, but Windows 7 has been very successful. If you’re still using Windows XP, put together a plan to upgrade to at least Windows 7 or be an early adopter of Windows 8, which is scheduled for general release on Oct. 26.
Perhaps the most common task advisors are waiting to do involves the solutions they currently use in their office. Generally, they’re waiting on an upcoming software release that includes new functionality. The unfortunate reality of this situation is that the time line is beyond the advisor’s control. There is also the risk that the new functionality will not meet the advisor’s expectations. So what can you do? First, stay informed of the development time line, and request screenshots of the new functionality. Second, consider being part of the beta testing process so you can be one of the first advisors to try it out. Third, be ready to evaluate other options if the new functionality does not meet your needs. Don’t give up on achieving your efficiency goals, but be prepared to search for another solution.