Despite evidence that modern Research Management Systems (RMS) add significant value, some still hesitate when it comes to moving away from “just good enough” informal consumer-app approaches or “we’ve always done it that way” legacy RMS. Below, we’ve outlined some reasons for that hesitation, by way of three common myths about research management. And provide the facts to support why you should challenge them.
Myth #1: It’s only for the really big boys.
(See also: “It would add to the admin of day-to-day operations,” and “We don’t have resources to adopt or manage a new system.”)
Perhaps this was true, once upon a time.
15 years ago, if you wanted a system to manage your research, you had better have had the in-house resource, skills, time and plenty of budget to build one yourself. Early, traditional hardware systems that followed were also expensive and required significant IT implementation to manage and maintain too.
RMS has evolved to be fully scalable; flexible to deliver benefits to start-up and multi-strategy internationals alike, on-premise or in the cloud, and configurable to the size, strategy and workflow of your fund. You will find different levels of sophistication, sure, but modern RMS is more accessible than ever —on a cost, infrastructure, and management basis — for funds of all sizes.
Myth #2: Analysts hate using them.
(See also: “I’d never get analysts to ditch their consumer software,” and “I’ve had a bad experience with RMS and I’m not going back there.”)
Some of them did, some of them still do. But that may say more about your choice of RMS than your analysts.
Ask almost anyone with experience of legacy systems of old, and you’ll hear that they’re complex, cumbersome and far from great to use. It’s one of the main reasons RMS has a bad rep; clunky, dated interfaces and poor user-experiences served to alienate investment professionals and led to high levels of resistance.
New approaches are significantly more likely to be software-led, user-driven, configurable and fully integrated with analysts’ workflows. The best examples of Modern RMS have compliance capabilities built-in, but are able to accommodate the dynamic and mobile working practices of research analysts and teams. Ultimately, the less attention research analysts have to pay to to figure out next steps the more they can get done with the task in hand; generating ideas that translate in returns.
Myth #3: We can make do without.
(See also “RMS software is a nice-to-have, not a must-have,” and “We already have an okay research set-up”)
Sure you can. But for how long?
This is another common misperception, and one that seems to hold value at first glance. If you’ve spent years storing Excel models in that shared drive, emailing out theses and ideas to colleagues and conducting ‘on the go’ content gathering via a concoction of note-taking apps and file sharing, then what’s the issue right?
RMS is no longer a luxury afforded to mega funds to streamline processes and implement diligence. It’s now vital to compliance, cybersecurity and performance levels. In fact, we’ve found it’s as important for a start-up to launch with an RMS in place to meet required compliance levels, as it is for a large fund to boost research productivity and collaboration.
The RMS category has evolved; we’ve seen new players enter the market and old ones try to raise their game. Right now, next generation research management is a hot topic. Though vendors vary in their description of exactly what constitutes modern RMS, there’s increasing agreement among investment professionals that it goes beyond a centralized research repository to help accelerate your research process from idea to investment.