All signs point to good times ahead for the equipment finance industry.

According to the ELFA’s Top 10 Trends for Equipment Acquisition for 2018, “economic upturn, elevated confidence and business-friendly policy changes” will fuel growth in equipment and software investment by 9.1% this year. While there’s no denying widespread technological innovation has been a key contributor to the healthiest global economy we’ve seen since the Great Recession, there’s also no hiding from the potential challenges and threats it poses to the future. That’s why now more than ever before, it is essential that equipment finance companies build strong, trustworthy relationships with their technology partners – especially when it comes to these three areas:

INFORMATION SECURITY

In the always-evolving and ever-expanding tech landscape, functionality comes first. It always has, and it always will. Because like most things, your company’s lease and loan management solution is worthless when it’s not working. However, it’s important to recognize that there are in fact far worse things than lagging productivity due to busted software. Like, say, losing all the information supporting everything your company has ever accomplished in a cybersecurity breach, for instance. With valuable resources constantly at stake, information security should be your chief concern when it comes to how your company chooses to prioritize and utilize technology. In short, guard your data like your company’s life depends on it. Given what a cyberattack could do to your bottom line, it probably does.

USER EXPERIENCE

Nowadays, it’s not enough for software to simply do what you tell it to do. Rather, users are on the hunt for a satisfying experience that persuades them to come back for more. This should come as no surprise – attraction to reward-based experiences is fundamentally rooted in human nature. It explains why the fields of behavioral science and technology have joined forces to better understand the psychology behind human-computer interaction. So, what happens when a product doesn’t provide a favorable user experience? More often than not, it’s traded in for the latest, greatest solution to hit the market. Because there’s no shortage of talent aiming to disrupt and dethrone the powers at hand in the tech industry. Although its level of impact varies from industry to industry, this nonetheless underscores the value of insights collected from user surveys, research and reviews. Believe it or not, we listen to your input.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

That being said, no user experience – no matter how fresh and friendly – will ever perfectly align itself with the product’s back-end functionality – no matter how intuitive and configurable. Just like any other consumer good, technology wears, tears and eventually breaks. Which is why the guys and gals on your technology partner’s customer support team should be your best friends. After all, their success in the workplace is directly driven by the success you and your company experience using their product. Despite all of the otherworldly superpowers displayed by technology, no one is immune to the never-ending cycle of research, development and testing. So next time you file an anxiety-inducing support ticket, take a deep breath and approach the problem as a team. We’re not just your service-provider; we’re your business partner.

At its core, any investment in technology is an oath to efficiency. If your goal is to increase productivity and profitability, we as technology providers bring you the tools you need to simplify and streamline your day-to-day operations. Take LeaseTeam’s ASPIRE, for example. Our complete transaction lifecycle solution drastically reduces the time you spend on monotonous contract management tasks. In turn, you can redirect your attention to critical matters that shape the industry – like tax reform, trade issues and accounting standards.

No matter where your business objectives lie in 2018, building a strong, trustworthy relationship with your technology partner is a vital component of any modern equipment finance company – especially when it comes to information security, user experience and customer support. In the meantime, add these subjects to your list of things to discuss with your technology partner – right after your system performance review, of course.

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