Get More From Your Technology; Tips For Using Systems You Own More Effectively And Buying Solutions That Will Improve Your Life And Business

Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:09
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Get More From Your Technology; Tips For Using Systems You Own More Effectively And Buying Solutions That Will Improve Your Life And Business

Tags: advisor technology

Recent purchases have me wondering if technology is advancing faster than we can keep up with using it effectively and how to get more out of the ever-evolving technology used at home and in businesses.

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My wife and I recently purchased a new vehicle, a new refrigerator, and new smart phones for my wife and kids.  The vehicle and refrigerator being replaced were at the end of their useful lives. The new vehicle and refrigerator have incorporated newer technology features.

 

The new vehicle came equipped with a navigation system, entertainment system, keyless entry, and many other “automatic” features to make driving and riding more efficient and enjoyable.  Our new refrigerator has water and ice (crushed and cubed) dispensers, alerts if the door is left open, energy saver if you are gone for an extended period, alarm/clock, and other yet to be used buttons (features) -- technology that wasn’t available just a few years ago.

 

The new phones  also have many technology advances.  Because of the many new features and functions on their new phones, my wife and kids have had to learn to use them.  But there are features and functions that they aren’t making use of, either because they are unaware of the feature or because they don’t know how they work.

 

Is the rapid pace of technology advancements making it too difficult to keep up with these improvements? Are we making use of all the features? Or is there more to the technology than we can use effectively?

 

These questions also come up in advisory firms.  The many different types of software needed to operate a financial advisory firm efficiently and effectively is becoming  more extensive.  Making sure that the “right” technology is being added and fully utilized can be challenging.  Many of us, me included, do not utilize our software to its fullest capabilities -- not even the most-used apps on our desktops, like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, .

 

How can you learn to use your software fully and effectively to make your firm more efficient? How do you keep up with all of the software on the market, its options, features and integrations as well as other technology used in your businesses? What features and functions are you not currently using?

 

In some instances, you may not need new software.  You may just need to spend more time learning the features of the software that you aren’t using effectively. And sometimes, it is time for newer technology.

 

Here are some ways to get more out of your current business software or upcoming software purchases: 

  • Don’t spend all of your tech dollars on only purchasing the software.  Also allocate resources to properly training for your staff and improving the business processes that will be impacted by the software implementation.
  • Know your business objective for purchasing the software.  What benefit will your firm get from adding the software and related process?
  • Develop and follow a technology plan to keep up with needed technology additions in your firm.
  • Keep up on changes/upgrades to currently owned software. What improvements to the features or functions could help make your processes better? Follow the company’s blog, tweets, newsletters, and attend vendor webinars or conferences to monitor these updates.
  • Get your staff to understand and buy in to what the technology can do for the business and for their responsibilities.  Show your employees how using the software efficiently not only helps the firm, but can benefit them as well.
  • Make sure you have the right people operating the software. Are they willing and do they have the skill and time to operate the software effectively?
  • Make sure your employees are making an effort to learn the software and not taking the easy way out because “it works just fine, that is the way we have always done it.” Change can be difficult for some staff.
  • Everyone learns differently.  Make sure you ask your employees how they would like to learn the software- hands on by themselves, instructor lead training, webinar, reading the manual, etc.
  • Create an incentive for the proper adoption of the software.  This can be tricky, but it can move employees to  use more of the capabilities of the software.
  • It takes a lot of effort to fully utilize existing software in our lives, both at home and in businesses. These ideas will help you get more from your current technology and future technology purchases.

 

Comments (1)

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agluck
Brilliant post! Drives me crazy that advisors don't use my company's technology features more effectively. Following your suggestions would definitely help and just takes a little discipline and training.

And, Reid, I want to welcome you as an A4A blogger. Your consulting services can help advisors execute on the ideas you explain in this post and I am pleased to give you visibility with A4A members.

Looking forward to your webinar on portfolio/tax rebalancing software tomorrow at 4 ET. (Register at http://bit.ly/RXA82d and remember that you must be an A4A member to attend.)
agluck , October 18, 2012

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