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IFAs – Can You Rely on Cloud Technology?

IFAs – Can You Rely on Cloud Technology?

Cloud technology offers new productivity opportunities to users. It can be time-saving, and it opens up greater possibilities for workplace flexibility. In short, it is technology at its most enabling and transformative.

Many industries have benefited from adopting cloud technology, but how does its openness and adaptability interact with the regulatory requirements of some business sectors? Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) work within strict terms of compliance and while the growth of online platforms in the financial services sector is significant, it has brought with it certain challenges.

Business Aspects Magazine discussed these challenges with Carl Enser, of Delta Comtech, who enhance productivity with cloud services in financial services companies. “IFAs recognise that they are operating in an area where data security and client confidentiality are paramount”, explained Carl.  “Cloud-based platforms are really well suited to their business because they combine the immediacy of access with robust data protection and business continuity.”

Carl continued, “IFAs need to be sure that they keep control of the security of data once it can be remotely accessed. They need to ensure, by prior, written agreement with their IT provider, that they have the right to retrieve their data and that the provider can guarantee its portability and continuity”.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) own Retail Distribution Review (RDR) now includes regulations for online platforms. While these are focused more on ensuring that product providers do not influence IFA’s personal recommendations, they are indicative of an increased regulatory interest in online services. Alongside this is the requirement to comply with the 1988 Data Protection Act.

“Cloud service providers need to work with the FCA, rather than see it as restricting what they can offer Independent Financial Advisors”, Carl concluded. “The important thing is for IFAs and their customers to have full confidence in cloud-based IT platforms and in how these can provide a better level of service.”

IT providers have a wealth of experience in providing watertight IT security systems while keeping them fully accessible and interactive for users. In terms of time, data safety and storage, and in business continuity, the cloud offers IFAs the opportunity to increase their efficiency and productivity.

If you would like to find out how Delta Comtech can increase your efficiency and productivity, via cloud-based solutions, please call them on 01625 443110 or visit their website.

To read more of Carl Enser’s views on how technology impacts on IFAs, click below to read his LinkedIn post: IT for IFAs: Are You Safe and Secure?