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Managed IT Support for Financial Services

By Cheryl Nelan

Technology and The Financial Services Industry:

Technology is critical for the advancements in the financial services industry.  Today, smart analytics are enabling financial services companies to mine the wealth of consumer data to understand and service their clients better.  Of course, with advanced technology comes higher cyber security risks.  Compliance regulations from bodies like FINRA and the SEC are working to set guidelines and requirements to protect private data.  PCI DSS and New York State’s Shield Act are designed to protect the consumers’ private data that are housed in databases in most every business.

Cyber Security and Regulations

So, not surprising that the most common topic with our financial services clients is cyber security and what they need to do to meet today’s regulations.  And, with COVID-19 driving many employees to work from home the threat landscape continues to evolve.  Since March 2020 there have been increases across the board in advanced threats and malicious activity.  Regulatory Notice 20-16 from FINRA explores the challenges of remote workers and provides some guidelines and advice – your Managed IT Services provider can help here as well.  CMIT Solutions works with a number of financial services firms and helps them achieve the level of security their business needs – whether folks are working from the office or at home.  Give us a call and we’d love to learn more about your business to see how we might help.

24×7 Business Continuity

Keeping staff productive – all the time

IT support for financial services isn’t just about securing data and keeping compliant – it is also about maintaining systems so they are running smoothly and users are working productively.  This is where finding a strong managed IT services partner can make all the difference.  Traditional break/fix support might seem more economical but, essentially, you are paying to get something fixed when it breaks.  That means there is downtime.  A strong managed IT services provider will work hard to make sure your systems don’t break down in the first place.  They take proactive measures so your systems are running when you need them – which of course is all the time.  They also make sure your data is secure and work with you to develop a backup and recovery plan that works for you and your business.

What is included in managed IT support for financial services?

That depends on what your firm needs – but in most cases, it can include everything from the traditional application and infrastructure management to end user support and all things connected to your computer.  Think of them as your Outsourced IT team.  One call for support.  A partner that helps you make critical decisions for your own IT infrastructure.  Virtual CIO services help you assess your IT strategy and plan for the future.  Will you move to cloud-based solutions or continue to manage an in-house server?  How will that decision affect your bottom line?  How about the users, how do you keep everyone as productive as they can be?  What is new in the industry that you need to understand – what are the newest threats and how do you mitigate these risks?  Your IT partner will have your back and protect you, your users and your data.

What is the difference between managed services and professional services?

The primary difference is the relationship.  Managed service partnerships typically last for years.  You choose a company you trust to help you not only with the immediate needs but to continue supporting your business under contract for years to come.  They make sure systems work well from the day they are installed until they need to be replaced.  They advise their clients on best practices and how to navigate through new security risks and regulations.  Professional services may be included in a managed services contract but not the other way around.  Professional services are generally project based and simply address a specific problem or challenge.  Your managed service provider is there to help you through challenges and opportunities whenever they come up.  In fact, they most likely meet with you on a quarterly basis to review your current IT infrastructure and discuss the current IT landscape while working with you to build your IT strategy and budget. (and if they don’t, they should)

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