Here’s the scenario: you’ve worked your tail off as a RIA, and you’ve come to the point where you feel the need to move on to bigger things. You now have the experience, network, and resources you need to establish your own RIA firm. But before you get into the nitty gritty of creating a breakaway RIA, you should first understand what you’ll need for your information system.
Big decisions need smart planning
Building your breakaway RIA firm is a significant undertaking, but it’s not uncommon and it doesn’t have to be overly complex. In fact, most IT providers that specialize in RIAs should be able to guide you through the process. However, it will assuredly pay dividends for your transition if you first take the time to strategize the necessary IT components of your RIA firm.
Here’s a checklist of tools and services you’ll need:
1. A dedicated IT team
You will need a dedicated IT team when creating your breakaway RIA. These professionals will be in charge of setting up the core of your infrastructure and should also be someone you can work with going forward. When seeking out an IT partner, you should make sure that they can provide the following:
- Phone, email, and remote access support
- Experience with installing, configuring, and troubleshooting financial apps and technology
- Help desk support with high customer service standards
- CIO-level expertise
2. Tools for your day-to-day needs
Your IT partner should be tasked to establish communications, digital collaboration, resource management, visibility, and control plans. These are your day-to-day tools, your essential business components that you’ll need not just to accomplish your company’s primary line of business, but also to ensure that you do so in a fiscally responsible way. For instance, your IT partner should be able to provide the following:
- Microsoft tools like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and more
- Archiving, journaling, encryption, and more
- Secure single sign on capabilities for your cross-platform suites
3. Backup and disaster recovery
Backups and disaster recovery tools are necessities, and should not be left on the wayside when planning your breakaway RIA. You wouldn’t go on a long road trip without a spare tire and tools you might need in an emergency. Backups and disaster recovery tools serve a similar purpose, ensuring that your business survives setbacks on its path of growth. Here are some tools your breakaway RIA should have:
- Data storage at multiple locations
- A 7-year file retention policy
- 30 day rolling backups
4. Security and compliance
Security is paramount in the RIA industry, as RIAs handle sensitive financial and personal information. And compliance is often seen as burdensome because it tends to make simple transactions and processes more complicated. But achieving compliance is necessary because it certifies that your business is operating in accordance with good faith practices and the law.
Aside from built-in security and compliance features in your business tools, you should also make sure that your network as a whole has the following features:
- Multi factor authentication
- Data loss prevention
- Restricted access for outsiders
- Compliance and usage reports
- Antivirus and antimalware
- Mobile device management and security
Find an IT service provider that understands the transition
A great way to simplify your transition is by partnering with an IT services provider that fully understands the nuances of your industry. One that specializes in RIAs can give you good insight into what RIA firms go through when they start their operations. Your IT provider can also guide you in determining the right hardware, software, and infrastructure design needs within your budget range.
Save yourself the headaches when you decide to become your own boss. Make the big move with RIA WorkSpace and ensure that all your needs are addressed without breaking the bank. Contact us to learn more about our services.