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So... thinking of upgrading your tech?

Selecting new technology for an advice practice, is a mystery to many. A lot of the time it comes down to risk tolerance, something advisers all know too well. So just like advising a client on an investment solution meeting your risk profile - there are different tech profiles for different firms. 

In my regular chats with advisers and their teams, I see businesses from each end of the spectrum. Those that are nervous to take a leap, and those that are tech trigger happy. There’s no right or wrong. Or rather, there’s only a wrong when it holds you back from change altogether.

Adopting new technologies is a good idea. Maybe not always or in every scenario. But holding the same stack of technology for 20 years, is going to present challenges in keeping staff, selling your business or simply moving systems when you do finally get there.

And remember - business transformation isn’t just about tech selection. So we’ve compiled 10 handy tips on embarking on your tech transformation experience.

  1. Engage the whole team. New tech, when its dumped on your desk, is scary. New tech, that has been shared through the whole journey is exciting. So bring everyone together once a week or month for a quick update or demo of what’s coming. Ask for feedback and make sure everyone feels consulted.

  2. Empower a diligent and curious paraplanner in the office to do a review of processes and tech. The business analysis role is not so different to elements of paraplanning. Tech isn’t going away, so allowing them to invest in time and skills into this task will pay dividends in the long run. (not to mention another skill for their future leadership role!)

  3. Bring in an expert if required. Bringing in external expertise can be a very positive step. They've helped companies do this many times before, they can cast an expert independent eye on your business and make crucial suggestions. There are many consultancies that specialise in mapping out processes and helping with tech selection. A lovely bunch are listed on the Market Map. But remember, it will still require time commitment, from within your company.

  4. Keep an eye on new and changing tech. Add new tech to your watchlist and try and meet with them for a demo. If a company announces investment, expect (or just hope some they’ll be investing in their product). New acquisitions quite often will lead to new integrations and partnerships leading to a new opportunity to use your technology. 

  5. Work closely with your software providers. Build relationships, have video chats, meet them at conferences. It will help you identify cultural fit and make the journey so much nicer, whether its a quick project or a long one. Remember technology projects are partnerships. When things don’t meet your expectations, engage in a meaningful conversation, don’t throw your toys, work through the problems together.

  6. Monitor new supplier risk. Everyone in the firm should be putting a risk hat on when looking at new tech. That goes from Chat GPT, through to advice specific tools. But by putting a risk hat on, you don’t need a dissertation of a due diligence report. Common sense applies: 
    • Look at where the company originates, look them up on Companies House. Look up the founders up on LinkedIn, see if youve got any in connections in common. Ask for a reference if you like!
    • Have a read of their Privacy Policy before signing up to anything. Check where data is hosted and what personally identifiable data is collected and stored.
    • Don’t start keying your client’s personal details somewhere hasn’t required a secure login.

  1. Don’t rush your decision making process. And make sure you have a process in the first place so that you don’t skip important steps.

  2. Don’t be scared by start-ups but be smart. If there’s an opportunity to collaborate with a new supplier, and you have the capacity, it can be a great partnership. You get the solution you need, designed to your needs, at a fraction of the cost. Work with them on your requirements to make you feel comfortable in the process. Try not to ghost them as they live off feedback! If you have expectations of a perfect all singing and all dancing solution, just let them know and put them on the watchlist for later down the line.

  3. Go to industry conferences. It’s tricky to get face to face opportunities today. Yet its still the best way to get a demo and build some rapport. Despite the cost of travel, its usually worth your while, heading to a conference that has a few tech providers to speak to. Bring your list of questions!

  4. Be supportive. Just like with your clients, some of the best new relationships come from referrals. Join community groups where you can share new found tech opportunities, share tips and experiences. This support to technology providers will help them scale quicker and faster ultimately benefiting you. Support is a win/win.


Good luck and chat with us at Woven if you want some extra help.