During my firm’s national conference, I was on stage with some of the brightest technology minds in the business: Aaron Klein of Riskalyze, Ed O’Brien of eMoney, and Brian McLaughlin of Redtail. We discussed how advisors embrace technology for their firm, from new purchase decisions to best practices to getting the most out of everything they already own. Here are highlights of the ideas and advice that these tech company CEOs shared during the session.
Your People and Technology: Great technology success doesn’t happen without employees being well-trained on how to best utilize the products. Be sure to allocate a significant amount of time and resources on regular training for your staff. A variety of training styles are important, too, from classroom sessions, to on-line training, to one-on-one calls with the help desk, to “ask the expert” forums. Great firms always are learning.
Users Voices: Make sure to consistently receive feedback from the primary users of each technology product. This includes for the systems used by your staff as well as the products directly used by your clients. Too often, the user’s input is muted or non-existent, or the “known” feedback is actually out of date because the technology product has been updated or changed.
Technology Sacred Cows: Is there technology at your firm that truly is irreplaceable? If so, that in itself could be a problem. Be honest with what really needs to happen with products that fall under this category. Avoiding addressing the situation or making a change is not an effective strategy, and gets more difficult to deal with as time passes.
Technology Innovation: Technology companies must continue to innovate to stay competitive and relevant. However, who on your staff is responsible for making sure that your firm does the same? Technology innovation starts at your firm with a staff member being aware of the new features and benefits available from your current technology partners. Regularly ask “what’s next?” and look closely at how to expand your technology stack.