Is it Time to Update Your Technology?
Making smart decisions about changing or updating your back office systems is never easy. This process can be particularly challenging for today’s fund office that operates in a volatile regulatory environment and is faced with changing and often competing priorities. But modernizing platforms is as much about reducing risk as it is about delivering new capabilities. If you invest the effort up front, the promise of greater cost efficiencies and better service for your members lies ahead. We recommend you follow these five steps, with a strong emphasis on pre-game preparation, before you consider the selection of a systems vendor to implement new technology:
1 – Understand the “why”
Understand the “why” – the very first step for the fund administrator and trustees is to understand and agree on “why a systems project now?” Be sure to build consensus around what benefits are expected as the outcome of the initiative.
2 – Budget for a big investment
Budget for a big investment and account for all of the costs. These will include not only what you pay the vendor but internal costs for support and training.
3 – Get your house in order
Get your house in order – don’t jump into technology decisions before you understand the current state of operations. We like to call this the “project before the project”.
4 – Build the team
Build the team – define the roles on your internal project team and who will fulfill them. These folks will be the trusted counterparts to your vendor’s team. Getting the right people involved at the start will be a key success factor.
5 – Pay attention to requirements and data
Pay attention to requirements and data – the importance of documenting requirements and gaining control of your data is critical to any systems initiative.
You can read more about managing the RFP process in this article from Benefits Magazine, Selecting Systems Vendors: What to Consider , coauthored by James Hynes, executive administrator of Pipe Trades Services of Minnesota (PTSMN).