Registered Investment Advisors: You Aren’t Ready for 2021

The parents in ’Twas the Night Before Christmas were settling in for a “long winter’s nap” when Santa arrived and disrupted the dad’s sleep. Registered investment advisors are looking forward to taking a break from this overwhelming, exhaustive year. But if you don’t address key issues before dozing off, you’ll start 2021 in worse shape than how you ended 2020. Before you take off for the holidays, answer these 4 questions.

1. Is Technology Handicapping Your Ability to Work?

If you’re like most RIAs, you have different tools for your:

  • CRM
  • Trading platform
  • Email marketing
  • Tracking account positions

Individually, they’re invaluable for your business. Using them simultaneously frequently requires you to constantly bounce back and forth between platforms, taking data from one system and entering the information into another. It’s a fantastic way to sap productivity.

Win back time with automation

Don’t continue with an inefficient system. Set aside time and evaluate your technology strategy with your IT team or provider. Conduct a complete review of your tools and processes. Look for ways to streamline interfaces and automate manual procedures.

2. Could You Work Effectively from Your Car?

You’ve swapped the office for working remotely, but you didn’t change your mindset. You’re now tethered to a space in your home instead of a desk next to the conference room. The technology you’re using to connect with colleagues and clients offers you more freedom, if you leverage it correctly.

I’ve taken Teams calls from the side of the street

At itSynergy, all our documents are stored in SharePoint®, and everyone uses Teams to communicate. Information is always at our fingertips. In any call from my car, I’m as prepared and informed as if I am sitting at my desk. You’re paying for cloud-based solutions, but unless you’re maximizing their potential to transform how and where you work, you’re leaving part of your investment on the table. You should be able to pack up your laptop and go anywhere without worrying if you can’t call us.

3. If You Couldn’t Access Data for a Day, What Would Happen?

Part of setting up backup and disaster recovery solutions requires you to put a time limit on how long you can go without access to your data or systems. During the conversation, the problem is hypothetical. You’re calm. You don’t envision it happening to you.

Until it does. Suddenly you realize 3 hours would have been a better timeline than 3 days. You’re on the phone with your IT provider asking what they can do to get your systems back up and running. Nothing. At that point, it’s too late.

Now’s the time to re-examine your plans

It’s imperative you have a disaster recovery plan and set the correct recovery time objective and recovery point objective before you experience a data loss incident. This doesn’t have to be a hack. You could lose data because of carless clicks, extreme weather or a power outage. If any of these events occurred at 10 a.m., how would you feel by 1 p.m.? How many opportunities would you have missed? How frustrated would your clients be if they couldn’t get ahold of you?

4. How Many Clients Would You Lose After Being Hacked?

Restoring from backup isn’t a bullet-proof solution for ransomware. Today’s cybercriminals encrypt your data and go after your backups. Then, they reach out to let you know they’re in control of your data and it’s time for you to pay.

Even if you manage to keep your backups safe, you aren’t out of the woods. Organized crime syndicates are behind most cyberattacks, and they’re savvier than previous generations of hackers. When a company refuses to pay, the criminals publish confidential data on the Dark Web and broadcast to the public how you were successfully breached. If your clients found out criminals broke into your network, how many would stick by you and trust you with their investments?

Generic help desk support won’t help you out during an attack

Cybercrime is more profitable than the global illegal drug trade. Organized crime sees hacking businesses like yours as a profitable opportunity. Partner with a cybersecurity expert who will proactively prevent attacks. Look for a provider who offers 24/7 threat detection monitoring and has a plan to mitigate the fallout if a breach occurs.

Registered Investment Advisors Can Avoid a Second 2020

Having the right IT support is the fastest way to prevent headaches you encountered in 2020 from spilling over into 2021. As you explore outsourced IT partners, know the qualities you want and level of risk you’re willing to accept. Help desk support may suit your needs. But call us if you want a partner who will:

  • Help you evaluate risk
  • Find ways you can automate tasks and streamline systems
  • Resolve the root cause of IT problems, not just repeatedly treat the symptoms
  • Guide your IT strategy and help you achieve business goals
  • Actively work to prevent cyberattacks
  • Continually monitor your systems
  • Be there during a breach

We’ll be here when you need us. Call us today and tell us about your IT needs.

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