The Difference Between the Buyers and Users of Your Tech—and Why It Matters
When you’re a one-person RIA, it’s easy to understand why you’ve bought your tech and how you intend to use it. After all, the same person is making both of those decisions: you.
If you’re in charge of an enterprise firm, though, deciding on the right pieces for your tech stack becomes exponentially more difficult. As a large financial institution, you have separate departments, often with layers of approvals and owners—and they can both have very different ideas about what “good tech” is all about. And while your technology team is making decisions on what applications to employ, your advisors are the ones actually using the software.
The buyers and users of tech are often in totally different arenas within your firm, so how do you get them on the same page? It starts with identifying the needs and wants of both groups to find common ground and grow connections.
What Corporate IT Wants from Tech
Your technology team likely spends a majority of their time managing and deploying your tech stack. Thus, programs that can easily work with multiple users often take precedence over highly customizable tech.
When it comes to their responsibilities, IT typically will prioritize ease of management over ease of use. After all, their responsibility is to manage and deploy the software, not interact with it every day.
Another common focus for IT departments is choosing technology that offers efficient integrations. Application management is difficult as is, and applications that don’t talk to each other and require an IT department to manage data in multiple systems is a recipe for a difficult job description.
At the end of the day, integration capabilities win out over innovative features when an IT department is making a checklist for their “must haves” during the due diligence phase.
What Your Advisors Want from Tech
When it comes to the financial advisors in your organization, they’re likely looking for three key components in a tech stack: features that positively impact the client experience, innovation, and user experience.
1. Client-focused tech
While advisors have plenty of internal technology to learn and use, most of their day is typically spent as the client-facing part of your business. Because they are the front line in creating a firm’s client experience, they need tech that facilitates real and authentic client relationships at each part of the client journey.
As the front-line face of the relationship for most clients, advisors need to feel like they’re continually increasing the value they can provide. Implementing innovative solutions is one of the best ways to accomplish just that.
Sometimes those solutions occur internally to help advisors complete their tasks more quickly, so they can handle a larger number of clients. Other times innovation occurs in a client-facing capacity, giving clients a tech-enabled, modern experience that gives them more digitally-accessible information so they aren’t required to reach out as much to their advisor.
3. Ease of use
Lastly, it’s important to remember that advisors aren’t necessarily concerned with software that’s easy to deploy across thousands of users – they’re focused on their own ability to use it.
In this arena, advisors take the opposite approach as your IT department, opting for user-friendly applications over ease of management. They want to be able to get up-and-running quickly, not spend hours learning how to use a system and take precious time away from their client relationships.
3 Ways to Get IT and Advisors on the Same Page
After understanding the perspective of both of these departments, it’s important to implement action and policies that will help them work together cohesively. Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Choose technology that fits some needs for both groups
It may not always be possible to get technology that checks off every box for every type of user, so look for ways to compromise if you can’t find the perfect fit.
It’s almost always possible to find a solution that gives each group most of what they want, like an application that delivers powerful integrations to help with enterprise data management, while also providing innovative functionality that makes advisors look good in front of clients.
2. Involve both groups during the buying process
It’s not necessarily a good idea to have only IT or your Chief Technology Officer (CTO) involved in tech decisions. Instead, seek input from both groups (buyers and users) throughout your due diligence process.
That doesn’t mean you have to create a full committee or ask every advisor in your firm what they want, but you should seek to create consensus and get multiple viewpoints before you buy.
3. Create an implementation plan
Once you have your new tech chosen, it’s important to know how much training your users will need. The point of contact within the tech company you’ve chosen to work with should be able to give you an estimate of this timeline as well as additional implementation resources.
Your IT team will also need training, but on the maintenance side of the house rather than as the end user.
Giving Everyone What They Want with Nitrogen
Nitrogen has the tools you need to meet the needs of your IT department and your team of financial planners.
The easy-to-learn, beautiful UI is fully integrated across your fintech ecosystem, with both advisor and client-focused applications.
And with our one of a kind Risk Number®, your firm can grow with confidence knowing you’ve partnered with one of today’s most innovative fintech brands.
Learn More About Nitrogen
Nitrogen has the capabilities to prioritize both your IT team’s and your advisors’ needs. Click here to schedule a demo of Nitrogen today.