Tech adoption can be a huge issue for RIA companies, and virtually any business these days. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that most people can quickly adopt new tech. (Online meetings anyone?) Meanwhile, some may initially resist new tech and later grow to love it. And then there’s the handful of people who avoid it altogether. Let’s just call them late bloomers. All that goes to show that learning new software and technology can be a challenge for anyone.

There are multiple angles to consider – and not all come from the employee side of things. Officers andSmart RIA management can pave the way for a smooth transition into new software from the early adopters to the late bloomers. 

With that in mind, here are 9 mistakes you should avoid to help you more effectively bring new tech into your company:

1. Buying tech before you understand your needs

Determine what you are trying to accomplish. What is your endgame? What problems will this technology help solve? Find something that will help you get that job done instead of just buying a tech solution. Don’t assume you know what you need until you’ve really examined what you are trying to make faster and easier. A little preparation on identifying the need will help find the best solution to the problem.

2. Allowing the technology to drive the business process

Tech should be a strategic decision based on your business needs. That seems obvious, but too often tech drives the business decisions, instead of vice versa. Don’t just bring new tech in for the tech’s sake, in other words.

3. Not choosing user-friendly tech

Choose apps, software and other tech that employees will actually use. Some employees are tech-averse, so it’s always a good idea to keep it simple. After all, if they aren’t learning the new software, you’ve wasted time and money. Many non-technical employees want to use digital solutions, but are intimidated. Make it easy for them. Naturally, all software will require some ramp-up and training, but you’ll want to look for one that has an intuitive interface that will speed adoption.

4. Failing to measure results

Operational metrics and benchmarks can quantify how much improvement you’re seeing. These can then be used to demonstrate that the advantages of “going digital” are real and worth your team’s efforts. And you’ll want to show the results of training and use of learning the software. Let your team know how progress is going. Celebrate successes with your team.

5. Letting momentum fade away

Hurray, you launched! Now what? Instead of letting the momentum die, maintain engagement levels using incentives and proving results. When you celebrate those successes or hit a critical milestone in training, dish out rewards, gift cards or even time off. But also be sure the carrot matches the goal and effort to get there.

6. Not leading by example

It’s critical that leaders show they’re just as invested and engaged in new tech by using it themselves and keeping it top of mind. Introducing it and letting tech fall to employees to implement isn’t enough. Let your team see others in leadership positions learning and adopting new tech. Use the results, metrics and other data generated from your new tech stack in team meetings. Integrate new technology in regular discussions with your team.

7. Failing to support different learning styles

As user-friendly as a new digital platform or mobile technology may be, there will always be a need for at least some training. Make sure your vendor offers support for employees who need it. And remember, employees learn in different ways. Variety is key. Some like Q&A meetings, webinars or live training sessions. Others prefer to study on their own with a knowledge base. Some need video walkthroughs. A good vendor will offer multiple training, Q&A and knowledge base options.

8. Not doing the PR

Think of your team as an audience. Employees will use tech that saves them time and frustration by learning the software to improve their day-to-day work. Sell the advantages to your team, consistently, until they’re all on board. And be direct. Is a huge hassle being streamlined with this software? Will reports be easier to run? Is this a data governance solution? Are you eliminating a clunky process? Where are the time savings, and how can your team use that elsewhere?

9. Ignoring your champions

Look for individuals who can “champion” your new technology investment among their peers and serve as mentors on the job for learning new software. Early adopters are found throughout organizations, not just in the younger digital native generations. Identify who is responsible for implementation and find those who understand the vision of your organization. Who will be responsible for integrating the new technology? Who do they need to work with?


The best tech stack for an RIA company makes life easier for staff and advisors, as well as management and officers. For compliance officers, in particular, your fintech should save time and be easy to use for every employee. In those areas and others, SmartRIA is the best option to streamline compliance, which saves time you can use to grow your business. We also provide Software as a Partnership™ service, which means we help you and your team access our learning tools, tutorials, Q&A sessions and our extensive knowledge base. Schedule a demonstration to learn more.


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