When it comes to selecting a wealth management software application, for many organisations the decision centres on functionality and price. As a key investment for the business, the software platform must be proven to perform to defined standards, and be priced at a level that enables the organisation to operate successfully and profitably, well into the future.

Of course, a software purchase is actually much more than acquiring some lines of code. It’s also the beginning of a long association with the software vendor, for a range of services starting with implementation and moving on through maintenance, compliance and further development. The skills and experience of the vendor in providing these services is as important as the choice of product.

Regulatory compliance, for example, is a major component of the ongoing service underlying superannuation administration software. The regulatory landscape in Australia is subject to continual change. Most recently, Stronger Super has led to major technology investment to comply with SuperStream. In-depth understanding of legislation and regulation, coupled with the expertise to understand the impact on administration systems, will deliver an efficient solution to ensure compliance. The combination of experience in legislation and the software solution is an invaluable component of the ongoing management of the software, and a key differentiator in the quality of service that vendors supply.

Businesses seeking to upgrade their systems are often faced with high implementation costs and operational risks associated with taking on system upgrades.  On this basis, upgrades are delayed to reduce the operational impact. However, failure to upgrade to new releases effectively deprives users of system enhancements and improved functionality.

Continuously Available Software (CAS) methodology helps mitigate these risks by delivering software upgrades using an Agile-style software development life cycle.  CAS provides greater access to innovation as it becomes available, rather than years after release. Based on short development phases and close consultation with clients, enhancements are delivered rapidly in response to market developments and client needs. Selecting software vendors who offer CAS will deliver regular systems upgrades, keep software compliant and enable organisations to better meet changing needs.

To ensure your business gets the most out of its administration systems – both during implementation and beyond – software vendors should be on hand to provide expert opinion, advice and assistance on all matters relating to your software and its operating environment. Over time, this partnership will add value to the software application, improving the ability of your organisation to meet its business targets.

The software selection is the beginning of a long relationship. Ensuring that the vendor you choose will be a good partner for the long term will define the success of that selection.

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Darren Stevens

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