The Information Technology department in any company operates within a strange dynamic. If they’re doing their job right, nobody thinks about them. But when something tech-y goes wrong, everybody blames them first (and depends on them to fix everything).
When it comes to building your I.T. department at your RIA, you have three options:
- Hire an in-house I.T. manager/team
- Outsource your I.T. needs
- Close your eyes and ignore the need for an I.T. department until an emergency arises
It goes without saying, but that last one is a terrible idea. Still, it’s surprising how many RIAs see it as a viable option. Then when they inevitably find that they have the wrong hardware, outdated programs or someone hacks their systems, they end up picking the first solution they find—often resulting in them overpaying or committing to a contract they shouldn’t.
Today, we want to look at option #2: outsourcing your I.T. department. It can give you more flexibility than you’d get with an in-house department, and at a fraction of the cost. Which brings us to reason #1 why your RIA should consider outsourcing your I.T. department:
1. In-house I.T. Departments are Expensive
The average I.T. manager’s salary is $125,266. And that doesn’t include benefits. And it’s just for one person!
Outsourcing your I.T. department typically costs much less than hiring someone in-house, as I.T. agencies offer their services to multiple clients.
Outsourced I.T. departments are also comprised of several specialists who interact with multiple companies, so they know the best of the best. On top of that, you can even find I.T. companies like FusionNetix that work exclusively with RIAs, so you know you’re getting the best of the best in the RIA space.
2. They can Help Make Sure You’re Getting the Right Hardware & Software
When it comes to choosing tech, “familiar” tends to top the list for most RIAs. It worked in the past, so why wouldn’t it keep working?
Familiarity is an important factor. After all, if you don’t know how to use the tech, you can’t do your job properly.
But when comfort drives your decision-making, you often end up keeping yourself from considering better options just because you’ve never used anything else. Not only that, but you may end up paying more for a solution you don’t need when an expert review of your I.T. requirements may reveal you can operate with less robust tools.
An outsourced I.T. team has heard of everything under the sun and has probably worked with most of what’s available, so they can help you weigh the pros and cons and consider what’s most important so you can move forward with confidence.
3. Cybersecurity Could Really Cost You
Deficient cybersecurity procedures are a uniquely 21st-century problem, but they can still cost you a lot of money ($1 million or more).
Outsourced I.T. teams—specifically those who specialize in working with RIAs—know all about SEC cybersecurity requirements, dark web monitoring, how to best protect your firm from viruses, and a lot of other items that RIAs don’t want to have to think about when you’re preoccupied with enhancing client relationships and growing your firm.
On top of doing the actual defensive work against cybersecurity, our outsourced I.T. solution, FusionNetix, can help you develop policies that meet the SEC guidelines so you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll pass an audit or not.
4. Get a Full-Service I.T. Help Desk (Without Paying Someone to Sit There All Day Long)
I.T. teams offer a plethora of services, but the primary instance when most people interact with their “geek squad” is when something goes wrong. That’s when they call in those with the tech know-how to tidy things up.
The problem is that most small to mid-level RIAs often can’t justify the cost of hiring someone full-time on the off chance that they can’t get the audio to work on their Zoom calls or their computer starts acting funny. If you’re operating with a team of anywhere from one to one dozen people, we hope you don’t have enough I.T. issues to necessitate a full-time I.T. person (and if you do, then refer back to reason #2 to outsource your tech needs).
Even though you may not need an I.T. person all the time, when you need one, you really need one. There’s only so many times your college intern can get you out of a tech jam.
When you work with an outsourced I.T. department, it’s like having a tech expert on-call at all times. Rather than paying the salary of a full-time team member, you pay a much smaller fee that gives you unlimited access when you need them.
Want to explore the option of outsourcing your RIA’s I.T. needs? Reach out today to start the conversation.