Want to hear a technology horror story in five words?
“Your implementation starts next week.”
If you’ve ever added technology or any kind of software to your bank, you too may have felt a twinge of fear when seeing the word “implementation.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m here to tell you that a technology implementation can be a good experience.
How can that be? I have a few ideas. Keep reading to learn what you need to watch out for so you can experience an implementation that sets you up for success, not frustration.
5 Steps to Optimizing Technology Implementation for Banks
Banks still have some catching up to do when it comes to technology systems. From customer-facing digital tools to the data warehouse used behind-the-scenes to power unified data across systems, banks have a lot to think about.
When it’s time for a new technology implementation, make sure your bank follows these five guiding steps to make your experience as optimal and anxiety-free as possible.
1. Choose a Tech Partner, Not a Vendor
When you add technology to your business, it’s like adding another member of your team. Your tech partner shouldn’t just sell you a product and disappear.
Remember: you’ll be spending a lot of time together, so choose people that want to build a relationship that results in the partnership best suited for you and your customers.
Optimizing your experience begins by choosing a company that’s willing to work with you on a long-term basis and answer all your questions—this means they’ll be reliable, flexible, and provide customized, innovative solutions for you and your team. That strength of commitment will show itself right away when you’re in the initial implementation phase.
2. Use the Buddy System
Attempting to implement technology on your own can be an arduous undertaking. Your team already has enough work to do—how are they also supposed to manage a technology project?
If you have a trusted technology partner, they should be able to create a solid project plan with you and guide the project to completion—on time.
Taking a DIY approach to tech implementation can lead to scope bloat and even missed timelines, so you’ll benefit from taking advantage of any assistance your technology partner offers.
3. Do a Cost Assessment
Before your organization makes a commitment to new hardware, software, or even human capital, you’ll want to conduct a full cost assessment before implementation ever begins.
When you look at the long-term process of implementing new technology, what areas can you envision costs rising in that aren’t immediately obvious? Whether it’s ongoing training for your employees, updating hardware to stay current with software, or even projecting for additional capabilities you’ll want to add later.
4. Educate Your Team
New technology is only good if your team adopts it and uses it the way you’re intending. Before you ever begin using new solutions in your organization, you’ll want to create an education plan.
And training your team shouldn’t end at implementation—your employees should have the resources at hand to get a refresh whenever they need, so identifying a point of contact for continuing education is important.
Beyond that, keep your technology updated! Coordinate a way to educate team members about those updates and any new best practices that will keep your team interested in using your new technology on a regular basis.
5. Establish Ongoing Support
Ongoing support can make or break your latest technology addition. This point is more than about receiving product update notices and education for your team—it’s about how your team is continually supported by your technology partners. Establish a central point of contact with your partner to ensure you have that “go to” person who can help track issues, schedule training and generally be your voice, whenever you need it.
Some companies (like Wealth Access) may even offer opportunities to meet and learn from other users through Client Advisory Boards and other connection events.
Ask early on in your implementation, and even before, how much support access you’ll receive (and don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate how much you think you’ll need). Good partners want to understand your expectations on the front end so they can manage them appropriately to create the best experience for you and your clients.
Your bank thrives on providing excellent customer service. You should expect the same from your technology solutions.
Look for Commitment and Experience
When it comes to selecting technology and ensuring you have a good implementation experience, commitment and experience make all the difference.
When your firm has a partner by your side, you can learn best practices and an experienced support team that’s been through it before will have answers to many of the questions you’ll likely ask.
If you’re a financial institution looking to better capture and leverage your customer data, Wealth Access can help. Our Catalyst program gives you the guiding hand you need to stay on course and use your technology right, from the very start.