The four essential qualities you should look for in a technology partner

The team at Lexis Nexis explain the key characteristics you should be looking for in a digital transformation partner

Digitalisation has opened up a world of opportunity for businesses to create outstanding online customer experiences. Yet many fall foul of criminals who are quick to exploit weaknesses in poorly implemented systems. 

All too often, technology vendors will sell a concept rather than a proven system. Others might sell a system that simply isn’t suitable for the task or deliver an out of the box solution with no support to configure it to the needs of the business, rendering it a blunt tool that requires unmanageable levels of manual intervention. 

In all these cases, your business is left vulnerable to both fraud and the legal consequences of a regulatory breach, as well as the risk of permanent damage to your reputation and customer relationships. 

You can mitigate these risks, however, by choosing the perfect technology partner for your needs. They’ll help you to implement a solution that provides strong security whilst maximising your growth potential through process optimisation, ensuring customer onboarding and user experience can work seamlessly alongside essential screening, fraud checks and ongoing monitoring. 

This article explores the four essential qualities businesses should insist on when selecting a digital transformation partner.


Sector-specific expertise 

There are literally hundreds of software solutions on the market, many are one-size-fits-all, promising the earth and underdelivering. But when it comes to risk, you can’t afford to be imprecise. The most effective partner is the one that has sector-specific expertise and can help you overcome the unique challenges your business faces by deploying the most suitable solution for your needs.

Look for a digital technology partner with a track record in your sector, because those lacking deep sector expertise will lack the crucial insights needed to effectively calibrate your system. This could result in a high number of false positives, poorly executed deployments, damaged customer experiences, and delayed return on investment for your business. 

When assessing a partner, you should also look for experience in IT development, data governance, project management, data science, and evidence that they’ve deployed transformative technology, at scale.

Adaptability

For growing businesses, nothing ever stays the same: your needs will evolve and your tech must keep pace with rapidly changing priorities. That means looking beyond current tech stacks and configuration and assessing future requirements and capacity to adapt, as you scale. 

What you don’t need are long development request cycles, software patch delays and other snags that prevent you delivering for your customers and seizing opportunities.

Your technology partner should:

  • Be able to update or adapt solutions within a workable time frame
  • Be actively investing in incorporating all the latest developments into its architecture
  • And have a strategy and capability roadmap that sets them on a path to remain ahead of the competition

If not, you’ll be saddled with ageing tech and outdated analytical techniques that can’t keep pace with the latest threats.

Stability and scalability 

Before agreeing a contract with a digital transformation partner, take the time to look beyond its surface-level promises to assess whether it’s capable of delivering the level of scalability and stability you need to service your ambitions.

For example, many tech companies in this space achieve rapid growth on the back of private equity funding, without ever being subjected to a real test of their capability to handle the volume of data, queries, and transactions that your business is likely to generate, without compromising performance. 

Investigate how long any potential vendor has been in operation and whether it’s a profitable business. Will it need to pursue further funding rounds to bolster growth? Could it have stability issues? Explore the scalability of its solution architecture and data analysis. Can it scale to meet spikes in demand or sudden growth? And can it demonstrate built-in resilience in the event of local or regional outages? 

Finally, for the successful deployment of AI and machine learning tools, access to relevant and historic data is a must. The alternative is that your system might not be capable of adequately addressing your fraud, compliance or onboarding risk challenges. It could also leave you with inaccuracies and negative bias baked into your decision-making processes, potentially risking reputational damage and compliance breaches.

Partnership

Sometimes overlooked, cultural fit is arguably as important as technological capability. To be truly effective, you need to have a genuine working relationship with your tech partner, not just a transactional one. 

A successful partnership enables you to have an open dialogue about the ongoing performance and functionality of your system, and to quickly respond to any issues you encounter. 

But how can you tell that your prospective partner will be a good cultural fit before you enter into a relationship? Don’t just take their word for it: a vendor might claim to prioritise partnerships, because they know that’s what you want to hear, but you shouldn’t decide until you’ve seen the evidence.

For example, check whether or not they operate regular Customer Advisory Boards or Voice of Customer product development sessions, and that the outcomes from these sessions result in actual adaptations and improvements – a solid sign that they’re committed to nurturing strong working relationships. 

Whatever challenges your business faces, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has more than 15 years of experience delivering successful digital transformations for major global brands, through a close, collaborative partnership approach.

See what matters at every stage of the customer journey with LexisNexis Risk Solutions and book a free no-obligation consultation to discover more

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