Investment in IT and Communications Infrastructure
As a company headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland and with regional offices in London and Dublin, fscom has invested heavily in our IT and Communications infrastructure from the very beginning.
This infrastructure was built with the objective of using cloud based networks and the best IT and communications equipment to support mobility and remote working. So, when the decision was made on 16th March that we would vacate the office, our full team was working from home on 17th March with very little upheaval to our clients or staff due to our technology and communications set up. We continue to invest heavily in IT and communications as this is imperative to a sustainable future.
Transformation of client communications
To reflect staff and client’s changing work experience, we made the switch early in mid-March and moved a full calendar of face to face events to an online programme of free webinars and training sessions. This digital transformation has proven to be very successful and although we know that is hard to beat face to face, these events are proving even more popular than our infamous Regbites and Client Briefings as we continue to deliver valuable regulatory compliance topics for discussion on a regular basis.
Another initiative which has proven successful with our clients is opening up access to our client portal which allows them to keep abreast of all the latest news affecting their industry.
It was also an opportunity to launch our series of fsTalks (something I wanted to do for a long time!) and now every week I speak with thought leaders in the industry who are coming up with innovative solutions to new or long existing issues!
Security of information and operations
Another area of utmost importance to us and our clients is ensuring the security of our client data, information and IT operations.
As Cyber Essentials Plus certified, we operate to a Certified Cyber Security level, independently verified by an external body. We are also currently working towards achieving the international information security standard – ISO 27001 certification and hope to have this gold standard by the end of this year.
So, whether clients are remotely accessing shared files and folders, discussing business with us on video conferencing facilities or sharing their information, they have the peace of mind knowing that links are secure and can be trusted.
Digitisation of our service offerings
When you know that the right infrastructure is in place, the communications integrated, and the highest level of security fully implemented, it is only then that you should be comfortable with the digital form of any service offering.
Within our financial crime team, we have and continue to complete compliance audits on a virtual basis. Our approach is well honed from our experience of working with audit firms that are multi-jurisdictional with offices across the globe. So, the move to performing audits on our EU based clients from on-site to remote has been put in place with the confidence that it is a framework that has been tried, tested and proven to work successfully.
As much as we miss the interaction with our clients since our delivery method has pivoted to a completely virtual platform, the quality of our delivery has not changed at all. In fact, in some ways, we feel we are delivering an even better service as we feel even closer to our clients as we have more Microsoft Teams calls than ever before.
From speaking with both Alison Donnelly, Director of our Payments team and Jamie Cooke, who heads up our Investments team, we have all been operating in very much the same manner with the high quality service our clients expect and deserve – they are just missing the low quality banter (joking of course, our banter is not low quality!).
Finally, in choosing to engage with any firm, big, boutique or otherwise, it is prudent to undertake your research. It is not good enough anymore to just say you are a “tech company” or operating a “fully digital workplace”, you must be able to prove it too.
We are proud to say that we can prove it and that we continue to invest in these key areas of IT and comms infrastructure, transformation of client communications, and enhanced cyber security.
If you would like to find out more about how we are ensuring continued delivery of high quality service, evidence of our cyber security credentials, or a query on your regulatory compliance requirements, please get in touch – we can still help you from a distance!
This post contains a general summary of advice and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific advice should be obtained where appropriate.