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Microsoft Office is voted number one in IT survey

Microsoft Office has topped advisers’ lists of favourite technology suppliers in a poll by 1st.

The survey of 150 intermediaries found that 57 per cent used back-office systems at least six times a day, with smaller firms of five or more IFAs using them most frequently.

Reliability, ease of updating and ease of use were ranked as the three top factors in influencing decisions for IFAs to purchase various technology systems.

Twenty-four hour access was viewed as important by 66 per cent of advisers, rising to 78 per cent for those with multiple office sites.

1st says this might be indicative of advisers increasingly using new technology, such as smart-client technology, with 86 per cent of those working in firms over several sites subscribing to a portal or trading platform, found to be most prevalent in larger firms.

The favourite technology provider was Microsoft Office, although provider websites’ and research software also ranked highly.

1st executive chairman Rory Curran says: “Adviser firms are becoming aware of the important role technology plays in the business. With the focus on making solutions that are reliable and easy to use, product providers and technology suppliers should be pleased with the progressive uptake of usage. Much still needs to be done but we are heading in the right direction.”

Head of Microsoft independent software supplier group Steve Morrow says: “We want to understand more about the key drivers affecting advisers’ decisions to invest in IT. From this research we have understood more about the need for solutions to be simple and reliable but still greater education is needed to demonstrate the benefits of more advanced solutions.”

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