Financial Services is a highly regulated sector that is experiencing an accelerated pace of technological change. In particular, the public cloud adoption presents significant and unique challenges.
Coupled with the recent turbulent economic uncertainties, the industry also remains a constant target for malicious attackers where keeping client data secured against cyber threats is continuous.
To succeed, mid-market financial services firms and start-ups need leading, agile technology delivered to the highest standards. They need to be able to provide highly remote and flexible working, new business models and fast connectivity to their trading partners and software. But running your IT internally is expensive and risky, especially if you’re looking to set up a greenfield platform, and it can also distract you from your core business. This is where partnering with an industry specialist Managed Service Provider (MSP) comes in.
Using a specialist MSP to solve your technology challenges
Business size, culture and the critical technology needs of mid-market financial firms mean that the use of managed services has always been commonplace. But with the sector seeing dramatic changes in technology, financial firms are now more than ever looking to specialist vendors who lead with their industry experience to solve their technology challenges. And meeting a complex scope of critical business process requirements, for example in trading and compliance, takes it to another level.
Choosing the right MSP to work with is a key success factor for your Financial Services mid-market business. Here are 5 considerations to prioritise when making your selection:
1. Industry focus and knowledge of critical business processes
Choose an MSP who works exclusively in your sector and who is already familiar with your main applications and critical business processes, such as trading and compliance. They will know the pain points of other clients like asset managers, hedge funds or insurance companies or payment providers who will be facing similar technology challenges.
And bear in mind that critical information security and compliance outsourcing arrangements with third parties must be conducted with careful oversight and contingency, so ensure you check the security standards and data security compliance levels of your MSP.
2. Proof of high SLAs and measurable service delivery
Ask to review SLA levels from the MSP’s other client base in the sector. SLAs may be based on resolution and response times and it is a good way to measure reliability, expertise and trust. Your MSP should be able to demonstrate measurable success via its online ticket and dashboard data for service delivery, client retention rates and so on.
3. Security and cyber risk continuous assessment
With such a focus on security and cyber threats in Financial Services, find out what the levels and regularity of the MSP’s security operations and strategic reviews are. Being able to deliver factual proof of your security posture and report on it internally to your stakeholders on how you are managing cyber risk is an important element of your technology solution and your MSP should be able to provide this data for you.
4. Secure access to the latest compliant technology
Your productivity depends on the tools, data feeds and applications you use every day. You’ll need the latest technology and access to best practices to ensure delivery of end-user platforms, cloud infrastructure, unified communications, cybersecurity and more. You’ll also need the right tools that connect multiple data sources and enable analytics and reporting capabilities to gain a clearer picture of your critical business information.
But as a financial services firm, it’s likely you will have additional requirements for provisioning compliant technology such as Microsoft Compliant Teams and compliant call recording for example MiFid II. Additionally, find out what your MSP’s connectivity expertise is with trading partners, bespoke trading software and business applications.
5. High touch service desk support
To eliminate the need for expensive internal IT expertise, an outsourced Service Desk can guarantee you 24/7/365 expert and practical support from a dedicated team.
Find out what guarantees your MSP can provide on response and resolution times, and how the process works in order to ensure your team can use the technology effectively and get unexpected issues solved quickly.
Lanware has been a specialist consulting and managed private and public cloud provider specifically to mid-market financial services sector for over two decades. We have the skills and experience in core Microsoft Cloud technologies and truly understand the culture and challenges of the Financial Services industry.
For expert advice on your technology challenges or your own cloud journey, please contact us.