Between market volatility and the imperative for a sudden and prolonged shift to remote work at scale, pension funds, like many other firms, are facing uncertain times. Now more than ever, having reliable technology infrastructures in place is essential for remaining productive in order to weather the storm. With the corporate perimeter having expanded to include (potentially) tens of thousands of employees’ homes but regulatory standards—and the real-world consequences of a data breach—remaining as severe as always, it’s critical to ensure that your pension fund has access to all the resources it needs, both human and technological, to continue to maintain its security posture and support its personnel.
Given this climate, it may be time to consider the benefits of outsourcing responsibility for some key functions to a highly qualified managed service provider (MSP) with deep experience in your specific industry. Avail your firm of the benefits of this type of outsourcing, and you’re likely to see a substantial reduction in costs as well as risk.
Here’s a detailed rundown of the top five benefits you stand to gain.
#1: You can leverage economies of scale to reduce procurement costs and get advantageous pricing for services.
Even though a pension fund may be managing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets, every dollar of its operating expenditures will likely be subject to strict controls and a great deal of scrutiny. Compliance auditors and the pension’s administrative organization typically require detailed and granular cost reporting and demand that funds economize wherever possible. It’s therefore essential to find the best possible pricing for hardware and outsourced helpdesk support.
Turn to an IT service provider with longstanding relationships with the leading vendors who sell to firms in the alternative investment and financial services space, and you’ll be able to avail yourself of better pricing than you’d get if you were buying direct from the vendors. This is because the service provider or reseller is procuring hardware for the entirety of their global customer base and can offer lower per-unit prices as a result. An industry-leading reseller will also offer rapid turnaround on quotes, and will be able to have in-stock equipment delivered the very next day. This enables your pension fund to be more operationally agile while maintaining low overhead costs.
The same general premise holds true for outsourced 24x7x365 helpdesk support. A pension fund can take advantage of the always-on services that an MSP’s experienced support team can provide for a tiny fraction of the costs you’d incur by building an on-site 24x7x365 support center and retaining the talent needed to staff it yourself.
#2: You’ll see a meaningful reduction in vulnerability and risk, which can even be extended to investment decisions.
The pension funds industry generates and handles enormous amounts of sensitive data. And retirement plan sponsors hold a fiduciary duty to the fund’s participants: they’re required to protect their personal and financial information at all times. Regulators are taking notice, and institutional investors are increasingly aware of cybersecurity risk as well. In this climate, it’s vital to partner with an IT service provider with industry-specific expertise—and one that’s long proven trustworthy.
Even if your fund handles cybersecurity risk management internally—especially at a strategic level—there will likely be many times when your team might benefit from the wide-ranging insights that an active partner can share. When your IT partner has working partnerships with hundreds of hedge funds and other alternative investment firms around the globe, they’ll have a firm grasp on industry standards and best practices. You can also leverage that expertise by asking their team to perform vulnerability or risk assessments on other firms that you’re considering for investment, and you’ll know that their opinion will be impartial—but conditioned by their extensive experience in the industry.
#3: You’ll reap the rewards of high-quality support, including greater productivity and less downtime.
Some people think of IT helpdesk services as a commodity, but if your employees are spending countless hours of their limited and valuable time on hold or waiting for an email reply, the advantages of having a professional and highly available support team at the ready will be clear. If an IT service provider can offer helpdesk support in multiple regions (including yours), you won’t have to worry about language barriers or long wait times at hours that are busy for you but are “off” hours in another time zone. What’s more, a top-tier MSP with an industry-specific focus will be able to seek out support professionals with financial industry or alternative investment experience, which means they’ll already be familiar with your employees’ most common challenges and most pressing issues—even before they answer the phone.
#4: Your partnership with an MSP will enable you to free up internal resources for higher-level tasks.
Digital transformation is more of a journey than a destination: it’s a far-reaching process that will ultimately impact every facet of the organization. Not all pension funds have internal expertise in all areas where it’s needed. You might, for instance, have a top-notch security team but lack resources when it comes to cloud configuration management. Much as you’d partner with outside compliance consultant to streamline the process of meeting regulatory requirements or engage a law firm to provide legal advice, you can avail yourself of a qualified MSP’s deep internal resources in every area of technology. This means you can supplement your own team whenever and wherever you need to—without making the commitment or facing the expenses associated with hiring permanent employees.
#5: You’ll become more agile, flexible and ready to meet your industry’s ever-changing demands.
Turning to the cloud enables you to spin up new services at a moment’s notice. Employees working remotely for the first time? Cloud applications can support their productivity at home temporarily as well as back in the office when it’s time for them to return. But what you gain in flexibility you may also lose in security and control if you don’t have the internal expertise to manage cloud configurations and settings on an ongoing basis.
Partner with an IT service provider with a team of experts who understand these services and their constant evolution, and you’ll be able to manage the security risks without needing to find scarce talent or invest in salaries and compensation packages. For many pension funds, it’s easier to draw upon a services budget for outsourcing than to get an internal hire approved. And, if the MSP offers flexible contract terms, you can scale up or down services to suit the fund’s needs and budget as circumstances change.
Want to learn more about how Edge Technology Group can help your pension fund realize cost savings, new efficiencies and a stronger security posture? Contact us today to set up a free, zero-obligation consultation.