The Challenges of IT Within a Regulated Environment

With the ever-increasing demand for technology, or even the ever increasing demand of technology, knowing the industry you work within in regards to technical support is paramount. Regulations for technology within strict compliance industries are hard to keep up with, or even relate to, as this was/is seen as a black art full of non-descript terms that outline certain systems and processes.

Let’s highlight some examples to see if you know some of the terminologies:

Cryptocurrency    Tokenisation    Blockchain     Fintech

To name a few, these are the most common being banded around at the moment. However, understanding the terminology is the first hurdle, how about understanding the regulators enforced compliance rulings for your business technology?

REC 2.5.19G01/04/2013

The FCA may have regard to the arrangements for maintaining, recording and enforcing technical and operational standards and specifications for information technology systems, including:

  1. The procedures for the evaluation and selection of information technology systems;
  2. The arrangements for testing information technology systems before live operations;
  3. The procedures for problem management and system change;
  4. The methods to monitor and report system performance, availability and integrity;
  5. The arrangements (including spare capacity and access to backup facilities) made to ensure information technology systems are resilient and not prone to failure;
  6. The provisions made to ensure business continuity if an information technology system does fail;
  7. The arrangements made to protect information technology systems from damage, tampering, misuse or unauthorised access; and
  8. The arrangements made to ensure the integrity of data forming part of, or being processed through, information technology systems.

“The FCA may have regard to the arrangements made to keep clear and complete audit trails of all uses of information technology systems and to reconcile (where appropriate) the audit trails with equivalent information held by system users and other interested parties.” – The FCA

No, you see the quandary here – Regulators have all the authority of enforcing these rule sets within a compliance world of understanding but how does a technical support organisation understand these (and the examples listed are a very small subset of what FCA regulated firms require for adherence) and assist with your technical governance?

A certain amount of “decoding the jargon” is required with a technical understanding of the regulations to IT requirements that can only be found within particular IT environments. Let’s draw down on this further with an example of the point I am trying to make.

Let’s say that I am a CFO of a hedge fund looking for an IT Support organisation to assist with the running and maintenance of my IT estate. What are the most important points that I am concerned about for the support of my IT Infrastructure?

IT Security – absolutely

Customer Service – definitely

Cost-effectiveness – Yes, I’m a CFO after all

Understanding of my industry technical compliance – Yes but it’s not normally a deal breaker

With the above points that are important to me, who would I choose and what will be the deciding factor? Sadly not the point you would think! – I have an understanding of technology, I use google to find answers to problems, and I label technology as a commodity with an associated cost. The fact is that individually I probably spend £10  a day on coffee (£50 a week, times that by 20 staff = £1000 per week), which is more than I would spend on the cost of being technically supported (sad but true). Now you add this to the cloud technologies available that promise to achieve bigger, better and cheaper alternatives to the infrastructure I have today, how can I ever put an importance on technology with even more choice available?

As you can see, this is a real problem for regulated industries where there is a real need for understanding my technical to business compliance and with GDPR only months away from enforcement, this is a genuine problem.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Guidance Technologies – Focused IT Support for regulated businesses” hashtags=”IT, IT Infrastructure”]

Wouldn’t it be a refreshing change to have peace of mind knowing that the technical support firm you engage with understands your challenges without google searches?

Guidance Technologies – Focused IT Support for regulated businesses, yes you heard that correctly and we have been doing this for over a decade! We are based in the heart of the City (20 Fenchurch Street) and travel in and around the London area wherever needed. As you would expect, we are experienced with the financial IT marketplace jargon, as well as conduct support and technical advice for regulated firms to a very high standard. Take a look at a typical client quote that we receive from the businesses we support.

“We have been supported by Guidance Technologies since we started our company a few years ago. Their understanding, support and proactive approach is second to none. The staff are very friendly and are obviously very experienced with the technology they install and support. The remote assistance works well for us, they are able to deal and solve problems within minutes of occurring. I would have no hesitation in recommending Guidance to friends and associates.”

Misha Patel – Office Manager, Aurelius Investments UK

So in essence, we feel that understanding your individual business needs that equate to your associated technology is paramount when providing technical support. Just as an IFA (Independent Financial Adviser) will advise you with your financial decisions correctly and appropriately, so should your technology provider have the no how to do this within your industry?

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