Most of today’s hedge funds, quant funds, private equity, and other financial firms must turn to third parties to support their IT and security infrastructure. But their needs have only grown more complex as data processing and cybersecurity necessities have evolved. “Standard cloud deployments will not be enough to help [financial firms] survive in their markets,” FinTech Futures reports. “It is imperative that they embrace a digital-first strategy—making digital business and technology strategies indistinguishable.”
Fortunately, new capabilities among managed services providers (MSPs) can help financial firms turn these challenges into advantages. Today’s leading MSPs have evolved from simply vendors of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to strategic partners in these firms’ IT and cybersecurity journeys.
Nonetheless, it can be difficult for financial business leaders to determine which partners and strategic services are right for them. In this article, we consider what “white glove” services and end-to-end user-support capabilities financial firms should prioritize when selecting an MSP. In addition to identifying the right resources in terms of strategic and IT solutions, we consider the business results MSPs can support as a result of their capabilities.
The Evolution of Managed IT in Financial Services
The financial services sector is among the most interconnected yet data-sensitive industries in the world. Featuring hundreds of thousands of employees, transactions, relationships, and edge devices, the security and efficiency of its technology are paramount. Accordingly, many financial services organizations have spent heavily to build up their IT foundations.
But technology, costs, and complexity change rapidly, often at a pace faster than firms can adapt. What’s more, the competitive landscape is shifting: established incumbents now face competition from FinTech startups, among others. Legacy IT infrastructure, internal cybersecurity teams, and outdated services that were once foundational can become weaknesses for firms instead.
With the right partner, financial services organizations can leverage the latest technologies without expending large overhead costs. Moreover, they can benefit from a streamlined systems architecture that incorporates extensive business continuity planning (BCP), advanced cybersecurity frameworks, end-user support and training, and tailored business solutions.
The Benefits of White Glove Services for Financial Firms
IT industry practitioners use the term “white glove” to describe how an MSP can customize services and deploy resources that are tailored to a firm’s specific needs. The term also describes the meticulous participation, adaptation, and care an MSP provides throughout the lifetime of its solutions.
“White glove services offer a high return on investment [and] significant cost savings,” says McKinsey. “While such services require technology investments and shifts in organizational structure, these investments and shifts will soon become mandatory as companies compete to meet customer expectations.”
This type of customization is especially valuable for financial firms, as they often have more complex systems that require special attention. For example, a quality MSP can align its own deep technical knowledge about the financial sector and its regulatory environments with the IT needs of a firm. This helps them stay ahead of cybersecurity risks, reduce operational costs, and other benefits.
Overview: White Glove Services and Outcomes
In terms of specifics, the unique white glove services leading MSPs may offer include:
- onsite support. By providing knowledgeable and experienced technicians, MSPs can help financial firms quickly resolve technical issues at their offices or data centers.
- strategic consulting. A leading MSP can identify and help deploy technology solutions in ways that align with long-term strategies.
- hardware and software procurement. MSPs can help financial firms select the right hardware and software to meet their needs.
- disaster recovery planning. MSPs can create and implement a comprehensive business continuity plan (BCP) for their clients, tailored to their specific operational and data needs.
The business outcomes of white glove services may include:
- improving customer experiences. By leveraging digital-first solutions, financial firms can better understand customer needs and provide services that meet their expectations.
- reducing IT costs. MSPs can automate manual processes, streamline infrastructure, and utilize existing resources more effectively to reduce operational costs.
- improving security and compliance. With access to the latest cybersecurity technologies and practices, financial firms can protect their customer data while avoiding the fines and penalties associated with non-compliance.
The Benefits of End-to-End User Support in Financial Services
User support from today’s leading MSPs involves much more than resolving technical issues. MSP resources are available end-to-end, providing team members with an extensive range of services across the firm’s entire technology stack.
For example, an employee at a financial firm might experience difficulty logging in or accessing data or applications. With end-to-end user support, the firm’s MSP can help that employee diagnose and resolve the issue quickly.
This support delivers results for the firm itself by reducing downtime and improving customer experiences. Quick resolutions to user issues mean fewer delays or outages that could have a negative impact on business results. Firms also reduce IT costs, improve employee engagement, and increase agility in a democratized way—key elements of an effective digital transformation strategy.
In terms of cybersecurity, end-to-end user support means that financial firms can better protect their data from malicious actors. By utilizing advanced techniques such as identity management, authentication protocols, and secure access control technologies, MSPs can target and mitigate risks on a user-by-user basis.
Overview: End-to-End User Support Services and Outcomes
The unique types of user support MSPs provide as part of their end-to-end solutions include:
- application and device support. MSPs can help users set up and manage their devices, as well as troubleshoot any issues related to applications or other software.
- remote access portals. MSPs can provide secure remote access to corporate networks and assets.
- analytics and reporting solutions. MSPs can utilize analytics and reporting tools to gain insights into user behavior and identify potential issues.
- training and onboarding assistance. MSPs can help users become familiar with their new systems and provide guidance on best practices.
- system monitoring and maintenance. MSPs can monitor systems and perform regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
- help desk services. MSPs can provide users with helpful information on how to use their systems.
- data migration. MSPs can help financial firms migrate their data from one system to another.
The business outcomes of end-to-end user support may include:
- improved customer experiences. By providing quick resolutions to technical issues, financial firms can improve customers’ experiences and reduce their frustration.
- reduced IT costs. End-to-end user support can help financial firms reduce their IT costs by eliminating the need for manual interventions and by incorporating automated solutions.
- enhanced security and compliance. MSPs can help financial firms comply with regulations while also protecting their customers’ data from malicious actors.
- improved employee engagement. By providing timely support and guidance, MSPs can help financial firms boost employee satisfaction and maximize productivity.
Taking the Next Step in Your Managed Services Journey
Financial firms who commit to more robust managed services and support models can achieve a number of key benefits. But selecting an MSP partner is a serious task—financial firms must be sure to evaluate their capabilities carefully. By taking the time to choose a qualified MSP partner, financial firms can expect a long-term return on their investment that will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
True MSP Maturity with Option One Technologies
The financial industry IT and security experts at Option One Technologies specialize in the challenges of today’s financial firms. Our comprehensive suite of white glove services and end-to-end user support solutions helps firms make informed decisions about their existing and future IT solutions and drive long-term success as their journey continues. Contact us today to learn more.