5 Signs Your Financial Services Firm Has Outgrown Its Homegrown Technology Solution

Intense competition and rapid regulatory change have forced many financial services firms to become early adopters of technology. And because the demand for capabilities has often exceeded the supply of capable solutions, more financial services firms rely on "homegrown" technology solutions compared to other industries.

Is it time for your company to move away from home (grown) and spread your wings? Here are five signs your financial services firm has outgrown its homegrown technology solution:  

1. Fixing problems usually causes a new problem

Remember that cartoon (or maybe it was The Three Stooges, or both) where the dam springs a leak? The person responsible for maintaining the dam plugs the leak with a finger. Then another spout of water emerges. He plugs the second leak and, well, you know how it ends. Eventually he runs out of fingers, the chewing gum turns into a bubble and the whole damn dam bursts.

Many homegrown technology systems have become a leaky dam – they weren’t built to take on the workload companies expect of them. Yet, the solution is seemingly interwoven into everything so the thought of replacing it causes an instant migraine. You can keep patching it (and patching the patches) but everyone sees the writing on the dam. #fixit  

2. It is only mobile during an earthquake

It has been well-documented that today’s employees (even non-millennials) are demanding increased workplace flexibility. If you were to create a Venn diagram, the overlap between “homegrown technology” and “mobility” would be nearly non-existent. This means employees are left wanting and prospective employees want to work elsewhere. Today, when workflow is tied to the office, companies fall behind on the productivity and business intelligence fronts.  

3. You need a crowbar to access insights

The business insights are in there somewhere. You just need to find someone who understands how to extract them and make sure she has enough time to do so. For outdated business technology users, “real time” often means “how much time will it really take to generate this report?” Meanwhile, decisions must be made, insights or no insights.

To truly achieve “business intelligence,” companies must have quick access to insights from anywhere. Modern solutions like mobile expense reporting offer companies real, real-time insights, allowing them to generate instant reports, keep workflows flowing and take back control of the budget.  

4. Your employees transformed its name into a funny acronym

It’s supposed to be called the Financial Tracking and Management System (FTMS) but everyone non-lovingly refers to it as Faster Than Molasses, Sometimes. These clever acronyms are merely coping mechanisms. Sure, they’re funny. But when technology causes undue stress and wastes valuable time, the laughter subsides faster than you can say “downtime.”  

5. What if Steve leaves?

Who is Steve? Steve is the only guy at your company who knows the intricate details of your homegrown technology solution. He likes to spin yarns about building “her,” and he’s the only one who knows how to resuscitate "her" when "she" stops breathing. Your Steve probably goes by a different name, but you know who I’m talking about.

How is your homegrown technology solution holding up? Is it time to abandon the dam and move to the cloud?

Discover the specific challenges financial services firms can solve with a cloud-based expense management solution. Check out Why a Capable Expense Management Solution is Critical for Financial Services Firms


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