Decisions: The critical things to consider when choosing software
Deciding on new financial advice software is the perfect time to get strategic and review your business needs first.
So you need to choose software… Where on earth do you start?
While choosing software requires careful consideration, it doesn’t need to be a painstaking process. It’s actually an ideal opportunity to pause, strategically review your needs and make decisions based not only on your business requirements but also those of your clients.
What to think about first
When you’re on the hunt for new software, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking outward first and asking “What can the software (and the technology provider) offer me and my business?” While this is an important question, it is not the first one you should be asking.
Looking inward at your business is the place to start – get clear about what you need and make a list of requirements. Consider your business strategy, including your operating model, plans for growth and longer term direction.
So, the first question to ponder is: “What do I need to achieve for my business (and my clients) and how can technology support this?
Getting clear on your selection criteria
After identifying your requirements you’ll need a list of criteria to consider when assessing your software and technology provider options, these include:
- Software: What are the capabilities of the software and does it have the breadth and depth of capability you are searching for?
- The technology provider: Is the technology provider’s business viable? How experienced are they? Do they have a clear future direction? What is their approach to software development?
- Open architecture: Does the software have an open architecture?
- Data: Do you have a clear picture of how your data will be managed?
- Support: What is on offer regarding services and support?
- Price: What are the initial and ongoing costs, and what value will your software investment deliver to your business?
Do your homework
Sometimes in life, we don’t know what we don’t know, or we rely on others’ perceptions rather than facts. There are hundreds of software instances used by licensees and practices – each configured to their specifications and requirements – that may not have all of the functionality and features that are available.
The best course of action is to ask for a software demo and discuss your specific requirements so you get the answers you need to make the right decision for your business. Remember, no one knows the software better than the people who built it.
If you’re looking for an experienced technology partner that can help you navigate your way through this time of change, why not make the first move and contact us. Find out how we can help you meet your business and client needs, and help you perform better, every day.
Kelli Willmer, practice solutions team manager, Iress
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