In the ever-growing world of technology, fast is the only constant. Look at how far the fund administration industry has come in the last 20 to 30 years. From handwritten ledgers to the instantaneous transfer of information we now rely on so heavily, it is hard to accurately predict what the future of the industry will look like. Sometimes, the growth of technology and the corresponding capabilities provided can seem daunting and scary. Here are our hot tips on how to keep up with technology and the ways it affects your work.
1. Keep up with the trends
No, I am not saying you should set-up a bitcoin mining operation in your spare bedroom! Take a couple minutes every few days or once a week to read the news as it pertains to technological trends. Lunch with a friend who works in the tech industry to learn from them and discuss their thoughts on the new pieces of tech you read about. And while not all of the changes you learn about will alter the day-to-day work of fund administrators, they do play a role in legislation, guidelines, and the alternative investments that funds are utilizing. We are constantly keeping up with changes to the guidelines and rules set by organizations like the IRS, SEC and AICPA. And in doing so, we are better able to serve our clients. Keeping up on the latest technology news can often help you prepare for potential guidelines or rules changes, communicate better with clients, and assess and meet the needs of clients. When you show clients this level of attention and knowledge, you are providing better client service and increasing credibility with your clients. This will in-turn boost your marketability!
2. Set goals
Setting goals can be a great way to manage many areas of life. By creating plans or steps for reaching an overall end goal, we can breakdown large, intimidating tasks into smaller, more manageable goals. The same can be applied to utilizing value added technology in your office. The best place to start is to brainstorm a list of areas where you feel your company’s technology is lacking or falling behind. Rank these areas by measurable factors to assess importance: perceived benefits, cost, and feasibility. Then set down goals for making improvements and set deadlines for these goals. I like to set multiple sub-deadlines when planning out a project. For example, if my goal is creating a new software tool, I will set a design deadline, initial coding deadline, testing deadline, and release deadline. And while unforeseen circumstances may rise and hitting all of your targets will not always be possible, planning out deadlines for each of these goals gives you something to work towards and shift as needed. So, whether you are looking to tackle something as simple as installing new computers, or as difficult as increasing data security, jot down a plan and start the process by setting some goals!
3. Embrace change for the better
Many people (like myself!) do not like change. But it is important to remember that change is sometimes necessary for survival and can greatly improve our quality of life. For example, VPN has allowed many people to work from home, cutting wasted time by long commutes or helping them to work when they have a sick child at home. It also allows people to access work during non-business hours to meet last minute or large projects for a client. When changes are made to our jobs, it is usually done to improve work-life or meet an evolving marketplace. Very rarely are changes made with the intention of making life more difficult (aside from areas like fraud prevention!). So, the next time your firm encounters something like a new operating system or software package, give it a shot! Remember that while it may take some getting used to, it could ultimately improve your work-life by decreasing your workload, eliminating redundancies, and reducing tedious tasks.
4. Focus on areas that will benefit you
There are plenty of gadgets and technology that sound cool but offer little in terms of overall benefit and have downsides that you should consider. I enjoy telling my Amazon Alexa™ to turn on lights for me, but I also get frustrated by her thinking something on the TV was a command to tell a joke (or even worse, change my thermostat settings!). In this case, is the convenience and improvement to my everyday life truly benefitting me? While I still use my Alexa™, each piece of technology has pros and cons that a firm should consider to help get the greatest benefit out of the technology available. You can also apply this logic to your current technology. Will the money seemingly saved by continued use of outdated computers with inefficient software be better than the cost incurred by or learning curve of upgrading to a new computer and software setup? A formal perennial review of existing tools (hardware and software), assessing their contribution/effectiveness is a valuable part of running your business. Along the same lines, look at each piece of potential technology and determine which ones will benefit you and actively define how it will benefit you. This conscious assessment will keep your team on track as to why and provide feedback to ensure you are getting the greatest benefit from all your chosen technology improvements.
If you would like to learn more about how Hedge Pro Solutions’ FASS software can improve your firm’s daily operations, please give us a call at (888)714-4771 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can answer your questions, send you more information, or schedule a demonstration.