What Should you Look For in an IT Partner for Financial Services?

What Should you Look For in an IT Partner for Financial Services?

IT Support team gathering at a meeting
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Having an IT partner for financial services companies is nothing new in this day and age. Organisations have realised that it makes good business sense to focus on your core activities and outsource specialities according to your needs. Just as many companies are ready to outsource their finances to a specialist, the same is true to having an IT Support provider.

Once that is established, we can move on to the hard part: how to choose the best IT partner for a financial services company? What criteria should you use to evaluate each provider and how to be sure they’ll treat your business with the care demanded?

Recommended Read: 7 Questions to Ask When Assessing MSPs

We’re well aware that many IT support companies tend to position themselves similarly, so we’ll give you the knowledge to pick and choose amidst the crowd. Read on to understand what type of company will best serve you and ensure your business remains secure and efficient.

#1 Make Sure They Offer Proactive Managed Services for Finance

Starting with the basics, the first crucial piece of service you’re looking for is proactive. This differs from a break-fix contract and will ensure you’re picking amongst the most committed IT partners for financial Services.

Proactive services mean that your managed services provider will be continually monitoring your network, installing security updates and fixing issues before they begin to cause trouble. This is the new standard for most IT support companies, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding this practice in a reliable partner.

#2 Learn About Their Information Security Standards

As you must know, a robust cyber security solution for financial services is a must. Cybercriminals are constantly targetting businesses in this industry. Having multiple layers of protection and training your employees is no longer optional, and your technology partner should be aware of that.

A good way to know how serious a company is about their cyber security practices is to look into the standards and frameworks they pursue. We tend to recommend them even to our customers, as it outlines clear targets and steps a business should follow to improve their cybersecurity posture.

A standard such as ISO27001 demonstrates a high level of information security and compliance – the level you’d expect from a trustworthy provider. The NIST Cyber Security Framework is another benchmark that could be used, as it covers a business’ security posture in-depth. Again, both of these could be pursued by your own business to reach a rock-solid security strategy.

Read: ISO 27001 vs NIST – why choose one?

Other useful benchmarking points would be the likes of Cyber Essentials– a certification required to work with the UK government – and GDPR. The latter has been widely discussed over previous years, but many companies still haven’t taken adequate measures to address it. Finding a partner that has achieved a high standard of service will ensure your business is also operating at that measure and will minimise risk accordingly. Learn more about Compliance and Cybersecurity Standards.

ISO27001 Lead Audit

#3 Choose IT Partners that are also Compliance and Audit Specialists

One of the reasons it’s hard to find specialist IT support for the Finance Industry is because it always stands among the most tightly regulated. Audits are frequent, and all details must be on point to avoid massive headaches. Having a partner that understands that is a major differential for companies in this space.

Spector is different from most IT partners in this aspect, as we take governance, risk and compliance very seriously. Our speciality in Risk Management covers much more than the average cyber security suite, and we’re continually assuring compliance and gathering evidence for the eventual audit. Our Compliance Solutions have received excellent feedback and are the perfect complement for businesses operating in highly regulated industries.

Read: The Role of Compliance in Cybersecurity

When looking for IT Support for Financial Services companies, don’t forget about the ever-growing risk associated with technology. Pick a partner who understands their role in the grand scheme of things and knows how to provide maximum value both in the day to day services and in the long term.

#4 Find IT Partners with Existing Financial Services Customers

Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to look for IT partners working with Financial Services companies. These firms already know the main challenges faced by this industry and will be ready to offer tried-and-tested solutions to assist you.

An MSP with no previous experience with financial services would undoubtedly lack a few things, as this industry requires expert knowledge and has no room for error. Make sure to ask about their customers and give them a ring to learn about their experience.

We’ve learned about the technologies commonly used by professionals in this space and their main issues. We’ve even figured out better alternatives for some of them! After several years of practical experience, we became able to offer strategic advice for finance businesses and transform the role of technology in their business.

After all, technology should always be an enabler! If it’s causing more pain than anything else in your business, it’s time for a change. So use the tips mentioned in this article to find the ideal IT partner for your Financial Services business. While doing that, get in touch! We’ll be happy to talk and learn more about your needs. Our team will ensure maximum satisfaction while providing a smooth transition. 

Should you be looking for more criteria to help you pick in between different providers, download our complete Checklist and go through the items with your potential providers. We hope this content helps you make the best choice!

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