Here is a top 10 checklist of considerations.
Digital transformation has had a huge effect on the Financial Services industry, and technology plays a more significant role in how firms interact and collaborate with their internal teams and with customers. Selecting the right technology partner in this industry to manage your technology estate, with the right credentials and experience has never been more important and is fundamental to ongoing business success.
From looking after your Infrastructure landscape to your core day-to-day applications, there are several areas financial services businesses need to consider when looking to change their core Managed Service Provider (MSP).
- Outline the full scope of service: Having a comprehensive understanding of what services are provided by your current MSP and whether these fit your needs and regulatory requirements is essential. You also need to consider if any services such as security or licencing are provided elsewhere to ensure you appreciate the full scope when speaking to any potential new providers. Be clear about what you think you do and don’t need and try to relate them to business operations and outcomes.
- Identify all your costs: Do you fully understand the costs in detail across the whole scope of your service to enable you to make a “like for like” comparison against your current service and the value for money it delivers? To make any realistic comparisons, you need to be clear about all service providers and the costs that are included.
- Know your contract terms: To ensure you are giving yourself enough time to consider any new providers, it is important to understand the full terms of your current contract and any end dates associated (including notice periods). Make sure you also have a clear view of the contractual terms offered by any new partner and how these fit against your own business plan and objectives.
- Compatibility across your systems: Do you fully understand the type of infrastructure needed to manage your line of business applications e.g. for your financial data feeds or your order management systems? You need to ensure any new MSP has the capability and the financial services experience to deliver the infrastructure needed for your industry-focused applications.
- Understand your market: Be aware of the specific compliance requirements and obligations across the Financial Services industry. It’s important to check whether any potential new Managed Service Provider has a full appreciation of the technical scope and implementation ability to ensure you meet your obligations.
- Quality of vendor relationships: Always explore whether any new potential MSP has the appropriate relationships and levels of partnerships with the technology providers you use or plan to use. In addition, do they also have effective processes to manage any specialist vendors you currently use?
- Maximise the benefit of change: Make sure you have a full appreciation of the ROI from moving from your legacy technology to a new workplace environment. To successfully future-proof, will your people need training on any new systems and will it improve efficiency across your organisation?
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs): The Speed of response, per cent uptime availability and speed of fix are just a number of key criteria to measure the level and quality of your service. When validating a new MSP, make sure they can provide the level and extent of service you need for the effective running of your Financial Services business. Being able to access and use the technology when you need it is paramount.
- Credibility & a good fit: When selecting a new MSP, it’s not just about whether they can provide the required level of service. It is a partnership, and it’s important they are aligned with your own company values and culture. As such, it’s imperative to take up references from companies of a similar size and scope to yours to gain confidence.
- Effective transition plan: Is the new Managed Service Provider experienced in transitioning the services they have proposed to you and do they have an effective time plan to publish against this transition? The transition needs to be able to operate around the needs of your business and must cause minimum disruption.
When selecting the best fit Managed Service Provider for your organisation, make sure that their industry focus is more than just understanding the costs. The 10 considerations highlighted provide the perfect checklist to ensure you have the right partner to suit your business now and in the future. Technology is a fundamental pillar of how your financial services firm operates, and you should take extra care when choosing the right technology partners going forward.
If you don’t have easy access to any of the information highlighted, our experts are on hand and can provide guidance and an honest and transparent benchmark so that you can make an informed and confident decision.