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Imagine losing a prospect solely because your competitor’s prices were lower. You may question the prospect’s decision-making process and wonder why she didn’t compare your services to your competitor’s.

But this is how many advisors make technology decisions.

“Which software costs less?” is a frequent question I hear from advisors. Another popular question is, “What is the best (CRM, portfolio reporting, planning, etc.) software?” My answer is they are all good. It’s about which one is best for your firm.

Before advising on best practices, let’s understand the difficulties with the current technology decision-making process:

It begins with information overload. How many products can you name for CRM, planning, document management, rebalancing, and portfolio reporting? Add categories like all-in-one or best-in-breed to the equation. Throw in work-flow processes, client portal, data security, client behavior, and integration.

Is followed by an easy route. At a T3 conference, I’ve heard advisors ask what technology others use and if they like it. The conversation usually stops there. Other firms may not use the software in the same manner as your firm’s needs and may not have the same business model, investment strategies, and support staff as your firm. Technology features that others love may not be what you need.

There’s little analysis of your firm’s needs and data. When advisors tell me that their needs are simple and the data is clean, I know they haven’t analyzed their needs or data. Regardless of your firm’s size and history, there is complexity in your firm’s structure that isn’t considered while evaluating technology. Unfortunately, such complexities come to light during the implementation or conversion, and results in additional time and expense far beyond what was budgeted.

To avoid second-guessing your technology decisions, here are several tips to stay on the right decision-making path.