Looking back at the chaos that 2020 introduced to businesses worldwide, one large challenge stands out — the need to immediately transition to a remote, distributed workforce that needed to stay connected to each other, and to clients, to keep business operating as normally as possible. Businesses were forced to quickly adjust to “work from home” environments and socially-distanced client interaction. And for most businesses, this was neither planned nor preferred.
How Well Did Your Team Adapt to the Sudden Need to Work Remotely?
If your adjustments to this challenge were less than smooth, you’re not alone. Many businesses struggled with an accelerated timeline for implementing technology to fully digitize their firms and enable day-to-day operation. Although many had plans in place for such a transition, these plans were to be carefully executed over 12-24 months, not one (1) month!
For some, the technology decisions were not yet complete. Forbes Insights reports that 68% of wealth managers say learning about and keeping up with new technology is the top challenge they face.
Undeniably, moving to a fully-digital platform is essential for your firm to keep up with trends and continue to grow your client base. The key to this move is finding the right platform with the right fit for your firm that optimizes your workflows instead of causing unnecessary complexity. Let’s explore the ways that the right technology can help fully digitize your firm and empower your teams whether working in the office, from home, or on the road.
Aren’t We Already Digital?
You’re using a computer. You’re logging into online platforms, spreadsheets, documents to share everything with your investor clients. You minimize printouts whenever possible. Aren’t you already digital? While technically you could say “yes”. In reality, if you’re like many advisors working with investors and family offices working with family members, and you’re using multiple tools to present portfolio summaries — you would have to answer “no”, that you are not fully digital.
Wealth advisors seek the best solutions for their clients, which often leads them to selecting an array of technologies — for rebalancing, for trading, risk assessment, historical progress, reporting, and more. Each tool might bring best-of-breed functionality, but at the expense of being digitally disconnected from one another. This is not being truly digital. This segmented approach introduces numerous potential problems that can leave advisors struggling to keep data up to date and leave customers confused and overwhelmed.
To be truly digitized, your team would have access to a single platform with integrated functionality, seamless data flow, uniform workflows, consistent reporting and calculation, and seamless data connectivity. With such a system in place, you avoid data silos with limited visibility, data transposition or calculation error, anomalies in reporting, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.
10 Benefits of Digitizing Your Firm:
Streamlined and seamless data flow
Find all of your tools and client information in one database. Enjoy the lack of transposition / data entry error as everything is automatically updated without the need for manual input.
Working from home has definitely caused workflows to change and figuring out new tools is sure to put a strain on them too. Going fully digital ensures that your workflow stays consistent throughout the business due to the pre-built software that supports your corporate policy.
Is there anything worse than putting in the hours of work behind a report to only find that your calculations went awry? While spreadsheets work for many, they can easily hide calculation errors that go unnoticed while they propagate across your clients. Moving online eliminates this risk and ensures your calculations remain consistent throughout.
Improved visibility across the organization
If you’re struggling to see the big picture of a portfolio across clients or asset classes, then you will recognize the value of having one centralized data store across your organization. By eliminating data silos with a consolidated data view, you will be able to see trends across advisors, clients, markets, and the organization.
Achieve organizational intelligence
The simple approach of consolidating data and functionality gives you true organizational intelligence. An understanding of trends across the organization, and control of data which enables you to monitor operations and ensure that disruptions — such as advisors leaving the firm — do not impact your organization through loss of data, reporting, communication timelines, or more.
Improved data security, storage and management
Data security is essential for compliance. With online services, backup, security, and data management is consolidated and offered across the organization.
Uniform software functionality across the organization
A digital platform means that everyone is always using the same version of the software; the same reporting, analytics, trading, analysis, rebalancing, connectivity, communication, etc. SaaS digital platforms enable a uniform experience across the entire team, and for all clients, strengthening your operations and brand consistency at the same time.
With a digital platform, connections to financial sources like custodians / banks happens at an organizational level, not an independent software package-by-package level. One connection for your platform can enable all advisors on the team, or all members of the family office, to benefit instantly.
Secure Data Management
Data security is essential for compliance. With online services, backup, security, and data management is consolidated and offered across the organization. Constant updates will also ensure that users will be using the same software at all times to avoid any data breaches or breakdowns.
Don’t worry about calling the IT department and expecting delays, digital platforms can be handled at an organizational level.
How Do You Get There From Here?
Launching your wealth management business into the digital space can be daunting. The best way to mitigate these fears is to work with a platform that is easy to use, caters to your full range of requirements, and offers a dedicated support team. If you’re realizing the benefits outlined here, and are looking at taking this important step, consider these next steps:
Outline your needs
Finding the right SaaS platform for your firm relies heavily on how you plan to utilize the program. What tools will you need? How will the platform help alleviate your manual tasks? Can it house all of your services under one platform? A quick survey of advisor or family office data management and reporting needs is a good start.
Review your market options
There are many sizes and shapes of solutions in the market. From one-size-fits-all to big-name-brand solutions to niche players and emerging leaders. The best way to assess your options is to look at the full picture from each platform provider. Don’t just look at the software functionality, look at the company and support structure, their approach to customer service, their commitment to customer satisfaction and success, and their future roadmap in a rapidly-evolving tech landscape.
Consider customer success (yours and your clients’)
Whether you utilize a fully-digital system or make use of a smattering of tools, there are bound to be some hiccups – especially in the learning phase. This is when you want to partner with a company that helps you get the most from your investment. The customer support available should be able to answer any question you may have without much delay.
Choose a partner, not a platform provider
While it may be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and go with a name-brand software company because it’s what you know, you may be limiting your firm’s success in going digital. Your choice of technology provider should want to help you succeed in your endeavors because they care, not because you’re just another paycheck.
Digitizing your wealth management firm or family office is no longer a trend to just keep your eye on. It’s an essential step to stay ahead of your competition, maintain high client satisfaction, and grow your business. With more firms moving to the online space, finding the right SaaS partner will transform the way in which you operate.
The benefits are clear. The advantages many. The flexibility and visibility offered by being truly digital are driving businesses to ditch the spreadsheets, leave the single-role applications, and turn to end-to-end digitally streamlined solutions to transform their operations and enhance their client/family member experience.
Our advice to you—don’t delay. Digitizing your business is the best move you might make for your firm.
If you’re considering this step, we would welcome the opportunity to speak to you. BRITech has over 6 years of helping over 300 financial firms around the world go fully-digital. Our team knows how important it is to find a platform that is easy-to-use and effective.
We have an unwavering commitment to our customers’ success and strive to deliver a fully serviced application that caters to your business needs. And most importantly, we deliver the one element that’s in short supply these days—a highly-responsive customer support network that’s ready to help you get the most out of your investment—the tools, the functionality, the connections, the reporting, and the client satisfaction you’re looking for in a solution.
T o learn more about how BRITech is helping shape the future of investment management, please contact your nearest BRITech office or visit us online at britech.global.