Choosing an IT supplier is a critical decision for any business in today’s digital age, but for those in the financial services industry, this decision is of particular significance. An IT provider’s capacity to support the specific needs of a financial services firm can determine a broad range of its success metrics including its efficiency, scalability, and ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements. In addition, VMWare reported a 238% increase in cyberattacks targeting financial institutions, a burgeoning issue that all providers of IT services to finance companies need to be able to manage and mitigate.
If you are involved in the management of a financial services company in the UK, here are some areas to consider when initiating the procurement of IT services.
How do IT support services for finance companies differ from IT services for other types of businesses?
The financial services industry has unique IT requirements that differentiate it from other sectors. Firstly, financial service companies often use specialised software packages for activities like risk management, portfolio management, trading platforms, and financial modelling. Therefore, IT support in this sector requires specific knowledge and experience with such systems.
Secondly, financial service companies handle highly sensitive information, such as personal and financial data, which necessitates stringent security measures. Lastly, the financial sector is heavily regulated, meaning companies must adhere to a variety of compliance requirements. These factors call for an IT supplier with expertise in data security, regulatory compliance, and financial software applications.
What type of IT solution is best suited to finance companies?
Companies offering financial services are best served by comprehensive IT solutions that encompass system management, cybersecurity, data protection, software integration, and support for regulatory compliance. These solutions should be scalable, adaptable, and secure, helping to meet the evolving and challenging needs of the sector.
Many finance companies find a cloud-based IT solution to be particularly advantageous due to its inherent scalability and flexibility. Cloud solutions can often better facilitate remote work environments, allow for seamless software updates, and provide robust data backup and recovery services.
At help4IT, our team has extensive experience helping financial service companies remain compliant and secure. Want to find out more? Contact our London based team to discuss your requirements.
The importance of FCA compliance
In the UK, financial services are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that IT suppliers for these firms must be adept at managing the FCA’s compliance requirements. Non-compliance can lead to significant fines and damage to a company’s reputation.
IT suppliers should be familiar with regulations regarding data protection, record keeping, and reporting, as well as ensuring systems are secure and resilient to outages or attacks. The right IT supplier should provide proactive compliance support, such as regular audits, risk assessments, and updates that meet new or changing regulations.
The importance of robust cyber security
Financial services firms are high-value targets for cybercriminals due to the sensitive data they handle. A single security breach can lead to severe financial loss and reputational damage. As such, financial companies need an IT supplier that prioritises cybersecurity.
This should involve multi-layered security measures, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encrypted communications, and regular vulnerability risk assessments. Furthermore, the supplier should offer regular cybersecurity training for employees, as human error is a common vulnerability in any security system.
At help4IT, we provide a range of sophisticated cybersecurity services, designed to protect all aspects of our clients’ systems and infrastructure. To find out how we can help improve the security of your business, contact us for further information.
Managing sensitive customer data
Handling sensitive customer data is a crucial responsibility for financial services firms. IT suppliers must therefore offer robust data management and protection services. These services should ensure data integrity, availability, and confidentiality, in compliance with data protection laws such as the GDPR.
Data protection measures should include secure data storage, backups, and recovery procedures, as well as tools to detect and respond to any unauthorised data access or breaches. The supplier should also help firms map out their data flows, ensuring they understand where and how data is stored, processed, and transferred.
If you are currently experiencing any issues in relation to data management and processing, help4IT has the knowledge and skills to assist you. Contact us for further information.
How managed IT support solutions can facilitate growth for financial services companies
Managed IT support can play a vital role in facilitating growth for financial services companies. With managed IT, firms can access the latest technologies and industry best practices without the need to maintain a large in-house IT department. This allows them to focus on their core business operations and strategic growth initiatives.
Furthermore, managed IT support can provide scalability, allowing companies to easily expand or reduce their IT infrastructure as needed. It also offers predictable IT costs, reducing the risk of unexpected expenses.
Talk to us about your IT requirements
Choosing the right IT supplier is a strategic decision that can significantly impact the success of a financial services company. If you are currently in the process of reviewing your IT, cybersecurity, data management, and regulatory compliance requirements, the help4IT team would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help you make improvements in all these areas. Take a look at our financial services IT support page for further details.