The benefits of using an independent consultancy

Let’s face it – consultant companies are not cheap.  Compared to BAU and contractual resources, hiring a consulting firm usually comes at a premium.  Staffing your digital transformation project with the right resources is usually one of the most critical elements when determining the success of a project.   

Below are the top reasons why working with an independent, vendor agnostic consultancy will make your project better and save your organization time and money.

System Integration Experts

When working with software vendors – they are the true experts in their own system.  They know all the ins-and-outs, and if there are any issues, they can communicate with their internal product team to look for solutions.  Any consultancy that claims to have better resources than the vendor (surprisingly they really do exist) is either greatly exaggerating or outright lying. 

However, software vendor resources are not system integrators.  Most clients in the capital markets may have their own unique environment and different OMS/OEMS systems, risk systems, accounting systems, performance systems etc… In addition, they all have their own business processes, business philosophies, and governance structures.  Every large digital transformation project is unique because the client environment, systems, and processes are all unique.   

At FINARCH, we are system integration experts.  We have worked with most of the leading investment management systems and have successfully implemented many digital transformation projects.  We can better understand the capabilities of the systems used in the client environment, as well as understand the capabilities of the Target system.  This often leads to better, more robust and simplified solutions. 

Enables a holistic system agnostic view

When working on large projects, it is common for the same silo mentality that is being used in an organizations current operations to carry over to the project.  This, in combination with the target software vendor narrow viewpoint often leads to missed design elements, or simply re-creating the legacy environment in the new target system. 

At FINARCH, our experienced consultants can provide a holistic and vendor agnostic point of view.  This enables us to identify gaps earlier in the requirements/design process, and not later in the project when making changes is more costly and time consuming.   

Provides a challenge point to the vendor 

As part of any digital transformation project, often there is a lengthy RFP process.  This involves evaluating the various vendors and formally signing a contract to begin implantation and the scope of work.  This also usually stamps the point of return for the implementing organization.  In addition, the implementing organization often has a lack of capabilities and resources knowledgeable of the target system.   

Why is this relevant?  Well quite simply, the software vendor also is aware of this – and even though their best interests is to successfully implement the system – change requests, enhancements, consulting hours, additional upgrades/modules, etc… are all a source of revenue for the vendor.

At FINARCH, we can efficiently work with your organization to ensure the target design and solution is robust and best fit for you

  • We have the experience to suggest alternative solutions and design that may make more sense within the context of your organization 
  • We can help advise on the capabilities and what is truly needed or not necessary as part of the target operating model.   We can help advise if additional product enhancements, modules, services or other chargeable items are truly needed or not 
  • We can relate our experience with other similar firms to give your organization another angle and gather important feedback 

Allows efficient management and accountability of workstreams 

When working on a project, there are usually the following resources available to staff the various workstreams: 

  • Internal Employees 
  • Contractual Staff 
  • Vendor Consultants 
  • External Consultants 

From our experiences, we recommend the following when staffing large digital transformation projects 

Based on the above, at FINARCH when helping our clients we often play a Lead role across several workstreams.  We take ownership of the workstream and can provide our clients with confidence that we will deliver results.   

Although we are comfortable working in most project workstreams, the ones where we often excel are the following: 

  • Requirements / Use Case Design 
  • Testing and validation 
  • Data Migration / Conversion 
  • Project Planning, Strategy & PMO 

Enables a better reconciliation and validation process 

Reconciliation and validation are often the most important checkpoint and milestone of any large implementation.  Often this comes last in the process and is the exit criteria that determines if a project can move onto the next phase. 

When working with FINARCH, our clients often allow us to own reconciliation and validation tasks as part of project engagements.   

  • We give management and project leadership comfort through taking ownership of reconciliation and validation processes which others may lack the ability or resources for 
  • We understand the entire ecosystem – not just a one system view.  If there are issues, we can trace them back to source and fix them 

Although we recognize the contribution that other project stakeholders bring, at FINARCH we are confident in our abilities and the value proposition we can offer to our clients.  Quite often, the feedback given to us most from our clients is that they wish they engaged us earlier during the initial phases of the project, and not later when the fires have already started. 

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