LeadingMile

MAXIMIZING YOUR RETURNS: THE STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE OF SOFTWARE SELECTION IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS

In the constantly developing landscape of Alternative Investments, utilizing the right technology in your operations makes the difference between leading and falling behind. As the investment industry is slowly but surely moving away from traditional spreadsheet-based systems towards new technologies that are evolving and facilitate scalability, the crucial process of selecting the right system emerges as a critical strategic component for Alternative Investments managers to optimize their operational efficiency and lock out the risks associated with outdated data streams.
As a fully independent consulting firm, we are driven by a commitment to provide unbiased advice. We recognize the importance of assisting firms in selecting the most suitable applications for their specific business needs.

 

Utilizing system selection expertise 

Having someone coordinate your system selection process can be valuable, especially if your partners have experience with the broad landscape of systems in Alternative Investments like we have built up over the past decade. Having expertise is not the most crucial part, selecting the right software to invest in and to thrive on is not merely knowing what systems are out there. To ensure the best decision you need a quantitative and qualitative assessment aimed at identifying the most suitable application to fulfil your business needs within Alternative Investments.  For this purpose we utilize on of many approaches we have in our arsenal, depending on the client company size, structure and way of working.  

 

We are convinced that just as with the software we are selecting, the process needs to be flexible and efficient. One example of this would be whether we take the Top-Down or Bottom-Up approach, while the Top-Down approach is deemed outdated, sometimes it is needed as larger organizations may have certain goals that are not known by the end users of the system. In both cases the requirements are collected from the end users with the difference being that with the Top-Down approach we are aware of the organization goals and take those into account when gathering end user requirements. 

 

Functional/Technical Assessment 

This part of the evaluation is structured around two most relevant components of a system; a technical and a functional assessment. Looking at the functional evaluation, this pivotal step involved taking a deep dive into the existing processes of your organization, the operating model you are targeting and working towards, the current pain points of users and your business vision. Having a full understanding of these aspects of your business are fundamental for us to align on an application that can facilitate your specific needs.  

 

The technical side of our assessment is a more black and white perspective on what an application’s capabilities are, focusing on the most crucial elements such as security, performance, compatibility with existing systems and scalability for future growth or expansion of use. These aspects are the cornerstones for being able to determine how well your organization and the prospected software match. The full assessment process involves multiple engagements with your team, including discussions with relevant stakeholders, such as daily users, IT configuration and procurement experts. 

One of the main points that is also taken into consideration is vendor dependability, where we as an impartial firm strive for as little dependency as possible, offering ways to mitigate those risks. 

 
How crucial is a rigorous selection process? 

Choosing a certain system and investing in that application means a substantial and often costly commitment over a number of years. Having a comprehensive system selection process significantly reduces the risk of choosing a system that is not fully equipped to provide your desired features.  

Getting stakeholders involved at an early stage of selecting your system is paramount to the amount of adoption that will take place after implementation. Securing alignment with the most important future users ensures that the chosen application will meet all essential operational requirements which will make them elated to work with the system and help a smooth integration with the existing system infrastructure.  

 
Engaging independent consultants 

While most organizations have the capabilities to handle software related selection processes, it is paramount to your desired outcome that unbiased external consultants are in lead of the change. While a commercial system demo can show a lot of the system’s capabilities, they are also built up in a way that will divert attention from any shortcomings or weak points in the software. Combining years of experience in Alternative Investments with our independent way of working ensures the right questions and a deeper insight into the system is achieved.  

Since the Alternative Investments market is very diverse, it lacks a one-size-fits-all solution. An independent consulting firm such as ours bring the advantage of delivering unbiased advice, free from any commitments with vendors or incentives to push certain products. Our experience allows us to make a selection based on applicability and compatibility with multiple vendors, excluding colored views.  

This commitment towards delivering independent advice helps alleviate the burden on future users and procurements teams, allowing them to focus on their daily operations.  

 

Conclusion 

In the Alternative Investments market, where constant change is inherent, newly introduced technologies can serve as a catalyst in digital transformation. Our system selection process and exercises are not just about purchasing a new system; it is about making your operations future proof, scalable and to mitigate most of the risks that are usually involved in such processes. Take the lead and make use of the strategic advantage of engaging our specialist consultants.  

 

By Marko Antonijević 

Client Service Director 

 

 

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