Efficiency has been the biggest driving force behind technology innovation and adoption over the past decade, not just in financial services but a whole range of industries.
That's starting to change as more firms shift their focus from delivering efficiencies to driving better outcomes and value for clients.
Is your digital objective too modest?
The opportunities available to advisory firms using technology as an operational enhancement have widened dramatically in recent years, as digital innovation has accelerated.
More wealth and investment firms now view digital technology solutions as their enabler to deliver a better service while making their business more efficient and meeting regulatory demands that are increasingly stringent when it comes to client data.
Investing time and money in digital wealth management systems and tools can be both a daunting and a rewarding endeavour, and greater efficiency is a modest objective in that context. Efficiency can be just one of the many gains from looking at the bigger picture to achieve genuinely transformational change.
“Efficiency is too often seen as an end in itself, when in reality it should be a natural outcome of a broader approach.”
Set your sights on bigger proposition gains
Too often efficiency is seen as an end in itself, when it reality it should be a natural outcome of a broader approach.
If your aim is to achieve marginal efficiency gains, that’s what you’ll get. If, on the other hand, your aim is to achieve better client outcomes by meeting their needs in the most efficient way that technology will allow, you’re likely to realise significant proposition gains. Efficiency will be improved as a natural by-product of this.
The questions you should be asking to get the most from your digital investment
To get the best outcomes from your digital strategy, you need to be asking yourself: 'How do we use technology to be the enabler that allows us to successfully execute our business model and deliver superior outcomes for clients?'
It might be a bit long-winded but answer it and the process will itself deliver efficiencies.
Several other questions will need answering along the way:
Getting clear about your client proposition
Once you’ve identified your existing (and any target) clients and have some insight into their needs, you can set out more clearly how your proposition should look and develop and build a roadmap that will get you there.
When you look at how to improve engagement with clients and demonstrate value, you’re entering the realm of personalisation, collaboration, openness, agility and connectivity, and that’s a great place to be.
“You're entering the realm of personalisation, collaboration, openness, agility, and connectivity.”
What success looks like
Ultimately, you want an ecosystem where the wealth manager or adviser can view and administer the entire client financial position, and where a client can also access and see everything you want them to. As it stands, relatively few firms deliver that.
Over the coming year, we can expect more firms to embark on the shift in focus from delivering efficiencies to driving better outcomes and value for clients. To be successful in that you need to understand the impact of major trends such as data, digital and mobile advice. Above all, focus on aligning technology closely to your business model.
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