Over the last 10 years, and through hundreds of implementations and thousands of client conversations, we have learned that there is an increasing need for accessibility across a private equity firm’s technology stack, connectivity between critical systems, and transparency into the central knowledge of the firm.
In a recent webinar co-hosted with RFA, I presented the key ways private equity firms are modernizing their operations through the effective use of technology. This concept of accessibility, connectivity and transparency – often referred to as the ACT Framework – represents the three tenets of a connected, collaborative, and modern private equity firm.
From more efficient operations to having a firms intelligence anywhere and anytime an employee may need it now is more important now than ever with the COVID-19 crisis still sending ripples of disruption throughout the entire global capital markets landscape. While many firms see the crisis as a time to double-down on relationship management initiatives, others are viewing this time as a great opportunity to take advantage of cloud-based productivity and collaboration platforms. In this article, we will share more about the ACT Framework and how its core tenets will support and enhance your firm’s deal, relationship, and firm management activities for months and years to come.
Laying the groundwork for a successful organization to create a connected and transparent business relies first on ensuring that that information is accessible both where employees need it as well as securely. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, you or members of your firm probably asked: “How can we have people work more comfortably and productively now that they’re working from home?” The answer is creating an accessible technology infrastructure.
We recommend, through the ACT Framework, assessing the way your entire workforce accesses key information and data throughout the average work day. For most firms, it is extremely advantageous to create a single sign-on (SSO) experience that centralizes all of the various applications your deal professionals use on a day-to-day basis. You can also leverage multi-factor authentication that allows for user validation that keeps these platforms secure.
Once your systems are centralized and remote access is set up, you may recognize that it’s easy to get information out of or into one platform, but very difficult to manipulate data and information the same way from another platform. Using the ACT Framework, we encourage you to ask yourself “how much value and time savings would we experience if these systems talked to each other?”
In fact, this challenge is very common in the industry. Dealmakers save a document to their desktop, but that therefore will not be accessible and connected to the rest of the organization. Once you really start getting applications to talk to one another, you’ll not only create more streamlined processes for your team, but you’ll have a decreased time to find key data points. Whether you start with connecting your Outlook instance to DealCloud, or begin with connecting two other SaaS systems, connectivity will help your team work more efficiently and productively.
At the end of the day, transparency is really the ultimate goal of modern organizations and especially in this current environment. Organizations want to ensure that everyone at a firm has the most robust set of information available to them and everyone across the organization has accountability, especially when we are not in the same office working side-by-side. Now more than ever, it is important that you have a technology ecosystem that supports a single source of truth for data and documents, while still ensuring that you know who has access to that information and when.
While transparency is important, it’s important that access can be restricted to certain sensitive information. In DealCloud, for example, user access to specific fields can be limited based on an individual’s role, function, tenure, etc. also giving our clients the flexibility to permission. The technology by role or function as necessary.
For a more in-depth modernization consultation, be sure to get in touch with the teams at DealCloud and RFA. Together, we’ve helped countless firms reconstruct their technology infrastructures to better adhere to the three core tenets of the ACT Framework, and as a result, have streamlined communications and enhanced outcomes.