03 June 2020
4 min read
You’ve made a shift towards a more digital and data-driven way of working and experienced the advantages of it. Don’t stop now says Iress CEO, Andrew Walsh.
COVID-19 might have pressed pause on many aspects of our lives but it hasn’t stopped our instinct as humans to adapt and survive.
We all responded to the crisis by changing the way we connect and work. It might have come more naturally to some than others, but the rapid shift to digital working is an incredible leap forward and a significant opportunity for increased efficiency and performance.
It would be a shame to lose momentum now and drift into a mindset of waiting until the virus has disappeared before we make and take opportunities. To emerge from this stronger, the focus has to be forward.
Much of our lives now fit into two categories: essential and non-essential (or can and can’t) which is a good way of looking at what’s important for business in the new world, especially when it comes to technology.
Things we took for granted before - working in an office or on a trading floor, face-to-face meetings, travel, seminars - feel non-essential now that we have discovered efficient ways to stay connected. While things that weren’t deemed essential before the pandemic have proved critical for survival.
Just a few months ago, remote working was possible but optional. Now it is essential for access and operations while at home. Financial tools and technology including apps, client portals and digital signatures were previously regarded as nice to have. Now they have become essential to doing business securely and efficiently.
This experience has changed our relationship with technology. There is often a resistance to the introduction of technology for a variety of reasons: change, risk, investment, time, with delay often being an option. In many instances, the coronavirus crisis has removed the option and technology decisions have been swift. It’s also shown that it was never about technology versus humans, but humans plus technology. Now that businesses have seen more examples of how the two work can work well alongside each other, it’s less likely we’ll go back to the way things were done before and we will want to keep moving things forward. But where and how?
Having settled into the new way of working, you’ve probably identified some gaps in what you provide or how you provide it and may be considering how to close those gaps. To come out of this stronger, we all need to listen to clients, focus on quality, and add value. All businesses need to think digitally and to think about data which is essential for taking a digital operating model to the next phase.
Many of our clients are reviewing their current operating models, identifying more opportunities to automate, improve and digitise their way of working.
With more people working in dispersed remote ways and now an even greater desire from businesses to drive up efficiency and drive down costs over the medium term, automation will accelerate. At the moment it’s still a powerful differentiator within financial services but we predict not for long.
Many of our clients are reviewing their current operating models, identifying more opportunities to automate, improve and digitise their way of working. In the back office, it’s about automating processes and tasks - including compliance - to better manage the flow of work throughout the business and track activities to completion, something that is essential for improved efficiency and performance. Out front it can be easy to get distracted by non-essential glossy tools, but software is an essential enabler for those looking to serve clients in a scalable, more profitable way.
You’ve made a shift towards a more digital and data-driven way of working and have experienced the advantages of it. Don’t stop now. Keep pushing forward. Start today by making data a priority. If you need some help with that or any aspect of digital working, chat to your Iress account manager.
We haven't stopped moving and have fast-tracked some of our software development to help your business thrive in the COVID-19 climate. To find out more about that and what we're developing to support the digital future of financial services, take a look at the Iress built for better roadmap.
Finally, watch our session with leading mindfulness expert Dr Richard Chambers as he shares some useful tricks and tips to boost your resilience and productivity. In just 30 minutes, you'll feel calmer and more focused.