January 12, 2021 | Best Practices

Software Updates and Enhancements Don’t Have to Be Disruptive

Even firms that spend a great deal on technology can fall short on innovation. Older systems often mean more is spent on maintaining, repairing and updating outdated technology than on developing new functionalities that will give firms a competitive edge. 

IT staff members may be so busy getting decades-old systems to work that they don’t have time to think about what’s next. And if the worst-case scenario happens—a system crashes—it could cost organizations significant time, opportunity and, of course, money. 

In fact, a recent survey of the Fortune 1000 by IDC estimated the average cost of an infrastructure failure is $100,000 per hour, and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is between $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year. 

Imagine how disruptive such an infrastructure failure would be for your business. Your portfolio managers would be unable to invest, your traders blocked from trading, your customers cut off from performance reporting, and your risk management systems paralyzed for a day or even an hour.

All-in-one, cloud-based systems protect against this nightmare scenario and can solve all these problems. In addition to choosing an investment management platform that is reliable and resilient, it is also critical to select a platform that is always evolving and improving—without disrupting your business. 

As Your Technology Needs Evolve, So Should Your Software

Fund managers who haven’t yet moved to the cloud often say that keeping systems on-premises gives them more freedom to customize applications to their specific needs. In our recent survey, over 40% of managers cited this as a reason for staying away from the cloud. 

However, a good cloud services partner should be asking for feedback and incorporating client wishes into their development roadmap—to the benefit of all clients on their platform. 

Fund managers know what they need from operational platforms, and their input is critical in keeping systems in line with their requirements. Innovation is most useful when it addresses real-world bottlenecks, challenges and problems. 

When choosing a cloud-based platform, you want to ensure the software is continuously improving, that updates occur without disrupting your business and that any queries are resolved quickly by dedicated staff. 

Continuous Improvements 

The best cloud providers don’t stop after implementation; they actively seek user input in order to grow with the needs of users. 

Enfusion, for example, is continually upgrading and improving our technology platform. Between 2017 and 2020, we’ve increased our R&D spend by 370%, and we’ve expanded our implementation and support staff by 273%. 

We also implemented 1,200 ideas for software enhancements in 2019—all of which were a direct result of user opinions and community suggestions. 

That doesn’t mean that every recommendation comes to fruition, but each is evaluated and executed if it serves a greater operational software benefit for good. Clients benefit not just from their own ideas, but also from the insights of others like them.  

Streamlined Updates

Most fund managers don’t want to lose time and productivity waiting for updates to be installed, even if the updates will be beneficial in the long run. 

A good software provider takes care of that for you, regularly updating without disrupting your business. Enfusion, for instance, installs updates every seven days without ever interrupting client functionality. 

In a recent survey, we found that every hedge fund manager (100%) reported that moving to the cloud was more cost-efficient and allowed them to do more faster and more accurately. 

Cutting edge tools available through the cloud, such as automated workflows, machine learning and managed services, can further streamline middle and back office functions. In some cases, firms were able to redeploy staff away from operations into areas like customer service and business development after moving to the cloud. 

Dedicated Support to Quickly Resolve Queries

If you’re having any issue that requires support, waiting for a response can feel like an eternity at a time when every second counts. 

If you’re considering prospective software providers, then ask how they ensure timely assistance, and look for a “high-touch” support model. 

When you submit a request with Enfusion, for example, it is routed to the best team for the job in one of our seven Centers for Excellence. And if you’re ever concerned that you’re not receiving the level of service you’d expect, escalation team members are on call to assist. 

We take a client-first approach that makes support a top priority, and we’re not afraid to add staff when necessary. 

Don’t Let Yourself Fall Behind

The competition is fierce in the asset management industry. 

A frequently-updated platform that doesn’t require your oversight or require disrupted workflows keeps you focusing on your core competencies, instead of taking your team away from higher-value tasks.

Look for evidence that a platform “walks the walk” through operational investments, efficient procedures and a commitment to improvement.

Perhaps, most importantly, look at client retention rates to see if your peers are happy with the service. Enfusion, for example, had a 99% client retention rate in 2020.

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